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Mass cremations: relief ordered for kin of 45
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 15
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Punjab Government to pay compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh each to the next of kin of 45 persons who had allegedly died in police custody and anti-terror drive during 1984-1994.

Counsel for the state government today appeared before the commission and informed that on scrutiny of record the names of 45 more deceased, who fall within the parameters of the order of NHRC (dated November 11, 2004), had been identified.

In its first order (dated November 11, 2004), the commission had granted a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh each to the next of kin of 109 persons who had admittedly died in police custody. The commission found Punjab accountable and responsible for the infringement of the right to life of the persons.

On March 8 this year, the commission granted compensation to 38 more persons. In this regard, the Counsel for the State of Punjab informed the commission that the state government had already deposited Rs 95 lakh with the Deputy Commissioner concerned to be distributed as compensation to the next of kin of the 38 deceased.

Out of this, the next of kin of 20 persons had been paid the amount while the process for disbursal of money to the kin of 18 others was on.

Accordingly, the commission has directed Punjab to pay compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh each to the next of kin of 45 deceased.

With this, the commission has so far awarded compensation to 194 persons in the Punjab Mass Cremation case.

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