Subhawati Devi,who has alleged that her husband was murdered and named Union Minister for Small Scale Industries Mahabir Prasad as one of the accused,had claimed Rs 1 lakh compensation last year under an insurance scheme that gives accident cover to farmers.
She claimed the compensation on the basis of the same FIR she has now challenged in an UP court,following which the police were asked to lodge a fresh FIR treating her husbands death as murder. The previous FIR had described the death of her husband,Ram Pragat,as a case of road accident.
According to documents at the Bansgaon Tehsil office,Subhawati had received a cheque of Rs 1 lakh under the Krishak Durghatna Bima Yojna. Bansgaon SDM Awadhu Ram,confirming the payment,told The Indian Express that Subhawatis claim was sent to the office of the district magistrate on March 11,2008. She was handed over the cheque on August 26,2008, he said.
Ram Pragat died on January 28. A day later,the Gargaha police filed an FIR describing it as a case of road accident. There was no mention of Prasad or any of the other accused named in the fresh FIR.
Subhawati also admitted she took the money. But I could get only Rs 70,000. Baki Bichchauliye kha gaye (the rest was taken by middlemen), she said,but did not disclose their names. She had earlier not disclosed the payment of money under this scheme.
Under this insurance scheme,sources said,the claimant is supposed to submit documents like a copy of the FIR,post-mortem report,death certificate and police panchnama. The FIR must support the claim of the person who is seeking compensation. The proposed beneficiary of the scheme is also supposed to mention the cause of death in the claim form, a revenue official at the Tehsil office said. However,no official was sure if money under this scheme could be paid to the family of a murder victim.
When contacted,Subhawatis lawyer Manoj Kumar said payment of the compensation under the accident insurance scheme would not affect the murder case. It has no concern with the case, he said over the phone from Allahabad.