'Too little, too late for1984 anti-Sikh riot victims' kin'

The allocation of Rs 1 crore for enhanced compensation to 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims in the Union Budget failed to impress Delhiites on Friday.


Preeti Chhatwal, whose family members were killed in the riots in Karol Bagh, said, “It is too little, too late.”


“The figures on those killed in the genocide, too, have been fudged,” she said.
AAP legislator from Rajouri Garden Jarnail Singh, who sparked a controversy by hurling a shoe at former home minister P Chidambaram in 2009 over a riot-related comment, said, “No amount of money can compensate for the sufferings of victims’ kin.”

He said compensation is immaterial and also, on the face of it, insignificant.
In April 2009, Jarnail Singh, a journalist with a national daily then, hurled a shoe at Chidambaram to protest his remarks on welcoming the clean chit given to Congress leaders in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

The allocation of Rs 1 crore for enhanced compensation in the Union Budget seems in continuation with the NDA government’s earlier decision to give Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed in the carnage. In the last fiscal, Rs 50 lakh had been allocated under the head.

According to the Home Ministry’s own estimates, the enhanced relief was needed to be given to families of 3,325 victims. The total enhanced relief may add up to Rs 166 crore. The decision to enhance the compensation was taken ahead of the Delhi elections.

The government had received representations from Sikh groups and it was felt that compensation given was not adequate, so it was decided to give an enhanced compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the victims.

The previous UPA government had spent Rs 517 crore as ex-gratia payment of Rs 3.5 lakh each to the next of kin of riot victims.

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