The National Commission for Minorities sent a notice to nine states for failing to complete the process of compensating victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots – November 1 marks 37 years of riots.
The Commission sent notices to Delhi, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh to file reports with the Commission detailing the victims, the compensation paid to date and the arrests and action taken against the accused in these cases. .
In August of this year, the Ministry of Minority Affairs informed Parliament that the Center had made a provision of 4.5 crore rupees in the Union budget for enhanced compensation for victims of the anti-Sikh riots in 1984.
The Union government had previously introduced a rehabilitation program to help victims of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. The program provided for an ex gratia payment of Rs 3.5 lakhs for each case of death and Rs 1 , 25 lakhs in case of injury. The scheme also contained a provision allowing state governments to provide pensions to widows and elderly relatives of deceased victims at the flat rate of 2,500 rupees per month, for life. The expenses related to the payment of pensions were to be borne by the state government. However, the compensation was increased in 2014 by the Modi government to Rs 5 lakh against 3.5 lakh previously per person who died during the 84 anti-Sikh riots.
“I have received a number of petitions on compensation that had not been received even after 37 years of riots. Earlier this month, I visited Tilak Nagar where many victims live and found out that they were living in dire conditions. They were not provided with housing – they had moved into unoccupied houses and they did not own those houses. They never got a job from the government and still survive odd jobs. We have to solve this problem and do justice, ”said the president of the National Minorities Commission, Sardar Iqbal Singh Lalpura, addressing Indian express.
Around 3,000 people were reportedly killed in the riots in Delhi.
Lalvura added that of the 37 victims in Haryana state, six families had yet to receive compensation and had fought in court. “This is the case in most states where there are casualties. I recommended that the government certify the completion of these cases – including full payment of compensation and action taken against the accused, ”he added.