Addressing the gathering at the protest staged by family members of the victims backed by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), he said that Air India and its insurance company Reliance are meting out injustice on the families of the air crash victims by bargaining with them over the compensation amount.
There were 54 persons from Kasargod who lost their lives in the crash along with three families from Karnataka and 5 families from Kasargod, settled in Karnataka. “There is no way that Air India or any insurance company can make up for the loss that these families have incurred. It is unfortunate that, unable to understand the seriousness of the situation, the insurance companies are bargaining with the kin to reduce the compensation amount,” he said urging Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel to intervene and see to it that maximum assured compensation is provided to the victims’ kin.
Karunakaran said that it is time for Praful Patel to stand by his promise he did on the day of the mishap. “Minister had announced that all the kin of the victims will be given compensation of Rs 76 lakh as per the Montreal Convention guidelines. He must see to it that every victims’ family gets just that and nothing less.”
Karunakaran said that another ridiculous demand of the insurance company is that the families of the victims should submit income certificate to claim the compensation.
“It is nothing but a foolish demand of the insurance company. How can the family produce income certificate for the women who have been housewives and the little children who have died in the mishap. There are no labour laws in the middle east.
Hence, submitting income certificate is not possible,” he said calling this demand to be ‘against human consideration’.
Coming down heavily on the insurance company, Karunakaran said that while a section of people are trying to ensure that the families get assured compensation, Reliance insurance company, which is basically a capitalist, private company working with sole aim of making profit is trying to make the best out of the mishap by trying to convince people to take less compensation, thereby increasing their profits.
The MP said that though there is a rule that the airlines must provide compensation of 1400 USD for baggage loss, nobody is uttering a word on the same.
Air India Airport Manager Arun Kumar received the memorandum from the protesters as Air India Station Manager Chellam Prasad was out of station. DYFI District President Muneer Katipalla, Communist leader B Madhava and DYFI leaders from Kasargod took part in the protest.