The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to pay Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the widow of a man, who had been killed by terrorists aboard a trawler while hijacking the vessel allegedly for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
The court of Justice Bhargav Karia reasoned that in view of the government report submitted to the court, the petitioner-widow Jashiben Bambhania was eligible for the same. The report prescribed revised guidelines of central scheme for assistance to civilian victims/family of victims of terrorist or communal or LWE violence and cross border firing etc on the Indian territory.
Accordingly, the state government was directed to take actions so as to see that the amount of Rs 5 lakhs is deposited as per the government scheme in the bank account of Jashiben. The court stated that if she has no bank account, a new bank account may be opened by the respondents.
When the state informed the court that there is no contingency fund, the court added, “..if that may be so, the respondents are hereby directed to deposit sum of Rs 5 lakhs from the Chief Minister’s fund and later on, whenever the fund is available, the same may be reimbursed in the Chief Minister’s Fund.”
Rameshbhai Bambhania was a fisherman and a sailor in the ill-fated Kuber Trawler. He was murdered in the trawler along with four other sailors by the group of terrorists who were allegedly en-route Mumbai from Pakistan.
The petitioners — Jashiben and Samudra Shramik ASU Raksha Sangh, had been running from post to pillar since 2008 to be compensated as per the government policy, by which, the kin of the deceased were to be paid a sum of Rs 5 lakhs. While the state government had not denied their legitimacy of the compensation amount entitlement, the petitioners had submitted to the court that “for one reason or another, no action is taken by the State Government to pay an amount of Rs 5 lakss to the petitioner.”