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Delhi Govt announces relief for riot victims
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 12
The Delhi Government today announced a compensation of Rs 1.25 lakh eachfor about 3,000 persons injured in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The decision was taken in the Delhi Cabinet meeting after the Delhi High Court had directed the state government to compensate the injured.

The Cabinet meeting headed by Delhi Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit, decided to pay the amount, which included interest, minus the ex-gratia ranging from Rs 500 to 2,000 that had been given to 2,996 people following the riots.

The High Court had directed the state government to pay the amount recently, on a plea filed by a victim — Manjit Singh Sawhney — who had an enhanced compensation, Ms Dikshit said after the meeting.

The Delhi Government decided not to go up in appeal in view of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement in Parliament that any shortcomings in the payment of compensations would be ironed out and the court’s order would be implemented in letter and spirit, she said.

The decision was to cost Rs 36.52 crore to the state government, she added. The decision would be notified and the amount paid in lumpsum. The injured victims had already been identified as they had earlier been paid ex-gratia.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) today hailed the compensation announcement for the 1984 riot victims by the Delhi Government. This is a good beginning for the future of the survivors of the anti-Sikh carnage.

The DSGMC Chief, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, said the compensation announcement had brightened hopes that the government would deliver on the Prime Minister, Mr Manmohan Singh’s, promise of full justice to the victims.

His remarks came after the Delhi Government announced a compensation of Rs 125,000 each for around 3,000 persons injured in the anti-Sikh attacks in the Capital following the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination.

The announcement came on High Court directions, which the government had decided not to appeal in view of the Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament last month.

Akali Dal (Santokh Singh) president Manjit Singh also welcomed the decision and expressed the hope that the governments, both in Delhi and other states, where the rioting occurred in 1984, would speed up the rehabilitation process.

In its reaction, the All-India Riot Relief Committee, an association of the 1984-riot victims, hailed the move as the start of a new process.

“We now very much hope that this good start would go a long way in the realisation of Dr Manmohan Singh’s promise over the events of the 1984. The announcement followed High Court directions, but we expect the government to do its bit to resolve a dark past,” committee president Kuldip Singh Bhogal said.

However, the Delhi BJP today termed the decision of the Delhi Government to pay Rs 1.25 lakh as compensation to those injured during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as an insult to the Sikh Community.

Delhi BJP President Dr Harsh Vardhan said the Congress party was not really interested in rendering justice to the Sikh community. If the Congress is really interested, then the guilty should be hanged to death, he said. He also said that after the arrest of the accused, the authorities should have immediately prosecuted them for murder, loot, rape and riot. In addition, the government should have provided every affected Sikh with Rs 5 lakh and a decent employment.


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