19 years on, government clears Rs.298 mn for Bhagalpur riot victims (Lead)June 12th, 2008 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) In a clear indication it was getting into election mode, the government Thursday sanctioned Rs.298 million for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims of communal riots that erupted in Bihar’s Bhagalpur town in 1989-90. This is the third big relief package the government has cleared after the Rs.3.30 billion sanctioned for the victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots and Rs.7.14 billion for those affected by the anti-Sikh riots that erupted after the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1984.
There are, however, variations in the relief packages. People whose properties were damaged in the Gujarat riots have also been compensated while those so affected in Bhagalpur will not get any relief.
The families of the 844 people who died in the Bhagalpur riots would receive Rs.350,000 each, an official spokesperson told reporters Thursday after a cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“This would be in addition to the amount already paid by the state government and would entail an expenditure of Rs.29.54 crore (Rs.295 million),” the spokesperson added.
The 22 people injured in the riots would be paid Rs.125,000 each “which would be reduced by the amount already paid by the state government”, he said.
This would entail an expenditure of Rs.3 million.
“There will not be any compensation for property destroyed,” the spokesman said in reply to a question.
The Bhagalpur riots had erupted after a Hindu religious procession was stoned, allegedly by Muslims. Most of the riot victims were Muslims.
Bhagalpur had earlier hit the headlines when, over a period in 1979 and 1980, police blinded at least 31 prisoners who were being tried for various crimes.
The package for the Gujarat victims was announced last month.
The families of the 1,169 people killed in Gujarat will get Rs.350,000 each while the 2,540 injured will get Rs.150,00 each.
In addition, an ex-gratia payment will be made to the 29,467 people whose residential properties were destroyed during the riots.
The package for the victims of the anti-Sikh riots was announced in December 2005.
The families of some 3,000 people killed in 1984 have got Rs.350,000 each while a similar number who were injured have received Rs.125,000 each.
Besides, the 22,000 families who had, post-riots, moved from different parts of the country to Punjab and are still living there have been given Rs.200,000 each.