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1984 anti-Sikh riot victims demand increase in compensation

October 31
23:38 2014

1984 anti-Sikh riot victims demand increase in compensationNEW DELHI: A delegation of victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots have urged Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to further increase the amount of compensation given to them.

The delegation, led by Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) national vice president Onkar Singh Thapar, met the Home Minister at his residence this morning and put forth their demands.

The Narendra Modi Government yesterday announced to give Rs five lakh each to the next of kin of 3,325 victims of the anti-Sikh riots triggered after assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.

“We have also come here to thank Mr Rajnath Singh for increasing the compensation. However, we demand that compensation amount be increased up to Rs 20 lakh or Rs 25 lakh,” Thapar said.

During the meeting, the victims also demanded that the pension, which is being given to them, be increased from existing Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000.

“There are still some accused of anti-Sikh riots who are roaming free. We have also demanded that they immediately be punished. We won’t sit silent until they are punished,” Thapar added.

In 2006, the UPA government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced a package of Rs 717 crore which included monetary compensation of Rs 3.5 lakh to each killed in the riots besides financial assistance to injured and those who had lost their property.

Out of this only Rs 517 crore were spent and the remaining Rs 200 crore could not be distributed because of dispute over claimants.

The most affected were the Sikh neighborhoods in Delhi.

Some of the riot cases are still continuing in courts and many Sikh organizations have alleged that the key conspirators of the violence were at large and victims have not yet got justice. A delegation of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat also met Rajnath Singh and demanded that the accused of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, who are roaming free, be punished immediately.

National General Secretary of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat Avtar Singh Shastri said they have also demanded that government should get 237 cases related to anti-Sikh riots re-investigated.

“Singh has assured us that government will work on our demands fast and all accused, who are roaming free, will be punished soon,” he added.–PTI



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