Government officer raises fund for firing victim

Government officer raises fund for firing victim

Good Samaritan

Normally, such financial assistance comes from the government but when the officer came to know that the victim Jibachch Rai was the sole bread earner in a family which had five women dependants, he collected Rs 2 lakh through contributions from diverse groups like panchayat members, traders and social activists.

Rai was killed when the police opened fire on a violent mob during the counting of votes after panchayat elections near Kusheswarsthan on May 22. Rai, who worked as a daily wage labourer in Guwahati, had come to his hometown to participate in the grassroots democratic process – panchayat polls.

But he was reportedly misled by local miscreants to resort to stone pelting on the counting day. In the scuffle, he was caught in the police firing and eventually injured.

When Biraul SDO Jagdish Kumar came to know that the deceased migrant labourer is survived by his wife Rita Devi, three daughters and an elderly mother, and had no other male member in the family to eke out a living, he decided to raise a corpus of Rs 2 lakh through voluntary contribution. A few meetings with local social activists, businessmen and panchayat workers bore fruit.

Within weeks, the amount was collected and deposited in the local branch of Central Bank of India. An account of Rita Devi was opened under monthly income scheme under which she would be able to withdraw Rs 1,500 per month. “I was overwhelmed by the response of the people, as the entire sum was raised within no time,” said the SDO.

The government has, meanwhile, sanctioned widow’s pension to Rita Devi as well as her mother-in-law, which will additionally contribute to their monthly income.

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