Martyred cops’ families struggle for insurance money

March 26th, 2008 - 12:44 pm ICT by admin  

By Sujeet Kumar
Raipur, March 26 (IANS) They made the supreme sacrifice while battling Maoist guerrillas, yet the family members of many martyred policemen in Chhattisgarh have to wait endlessly to get insurance money. As many as 121 families of policemen killed by Maoists in 2007 are struggling for survival as insurance companies seem reluctant to cough up the Rs.1 million insurance money due to each.

The Chhattisgarh government provides Rs.1 million insurance cover to policemen being deployed in insurgency-hit areas where guerrillas mostly use landmines to target them.

Top official sources said 194 personnel of the state police force laid down their lives mostly in the state’s southern Maoist stronghold during their postings last year.

Despite the best efforts of the state government, the insurance amount was paid to just 73 family members of the deceased policemen.

Sources said that 74 insurance claim cases are pending with the Oriental Insurance Company and 47 cases with the National Insurance Company. Both the companies are constantly rejecting request letters sent either by the state’s director general of police (DGP) or by the state government.

In all the 121 pending cases, the family members of policemen are extremely poor and the majority of the deceased were either constable or head constable. The slain policemen were the sole breadwinners of their family.

DGP Vishwa Ranjan, who is personally following up the issue, sent a letter to the managing director of the National Insurance Company Dec 29, 2007. The state government too dashed off several letters to both the insurance companies for clearing the claims but the insurers have not paid heed till date.

“We can’t understand the logic of holding up the insurance payment of deceased policemen. We have provided them all documents required for clearance but they are playing with the sentiments of families of state police personnel who laid their lives for the sake of the country,” a senior police officer looking after the state’s Maoist operations told IANS.

“It’s not encouraging as thousands of state police personnel are at present deployed in the hilly forested terrain of the state’s Bastar region where the forces are locked in a battle with the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) guerrillas,” he said.

Chief Minister Raman Singh told IANS by phone Tuesday: “I too am surprised about the non-payment of the insurance amount. It is a very human and touching case. The government has taken up the case at a higher level to get reprieve for the deceased cops’ dependents.”

Home Minister Ramvichar Netam said: “The state government has been in communication with the insurance companies. Even the government has written a letter to the central government to intervene in the matter but despite every effort the insurance amount is yet to be paid.”

“I really can’t understand the reason for such a huge delay. The government is committed to taking care of policemen who sacrificed their lives,” he said.

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