After giving an unprecedented Rs 1 crore compensation to the kin of protesters who died in police firing during the farmers’ unrest in June, the Madhya Pradesh government Wednesday announced that families of soldiers who die in the line of duty will henceforth get the same amount.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan made the announcement in the Assembly while speaking on the adjournment motion moved by the Opposition Congress over the farmers’ unrest and the death of protesters in Mandsaur district.
Justifying the hefty compensation given last month, the CM said he always believed in taking the unconventional route and asked, “Was it a crime?” He said some legislators had suggested Rs 50 lakh, hoping that the final compensation amount would be Rs 10 lakh. “I had something else in mind. I was pained and filled with sorrow. I realised I should go out of my way to help families that lost young members.’’
In an oblique reference to some ministers’ claim that the farmers’ unrest was engineered by opium smugglers, the CM said he had ordered a crackdown against such smugglers in the last six months and 108 people were externed before the Mandsaur incident. “It was a peaceful agitation till June 4 but the Congress added fuel to it… anti-social elements conspired to make the agitation violent,’’ Chouhan alleged.