The NDA government has decided to give Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, government officials said on Thursday.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has taken a decision to disburse around Rs 166 crore to the families of 3,325 victims killed in the riots but the money has not been released yet, a senior Home Ministry official said.
The decision to enhance the compensation was taken by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh last week, just before the by-elections were announced for three assembly seats in Delhi.
“The government had received representations from various Sikh groups and it was felt that the compensation given to the riot victims was not adequate. It was decided to give an enhanced compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the victims,” said the official.
The official said the compensation will be given in addition to what they have received in all these years but it will be disbursed only after the by-elections in Delhi are over as the model code of conduct is in place.
In 2006, the UPA government had announced a Rs 717 crore rehabilitation package for anti-Sikh riots victims after the Nanawati Commission, which was set up to probe the anti-Sikh riots, submitted its report. According to the package, an ex-gratia amount of Rs.3.5 lakh each to the next of kin riot victims was disbursed. Out of this only Rs 517 crore had been spent and the remaining Rs 200 crore could not be distributed because of dispute over claimants.
“A thorough review was done and it was found that Rs 3.5 lakh was not enough to compensate the families of riot victims who have suffered all these years. On compassionate grounds, the amount was hiked to Rs 5 lakh,” said the official.
Of the 3,325 victims, 2,733 were killed in Delhi alone while rest of the victims were from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states.
The Home Ministry also enhanced the compensation to civilian victims of communal, terrorist or Naxal violence from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.