Family of Sep 13 blast’s Kashmiri victim gets compensation

October 30th, 2008 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS) For Ghulam Hassan, the pain of losing his brother in the Sep 13 blast in the capital will never go away. But the migrant from Jammu and Kashmir is a relieved man after receiving Thursday the compensation cheques in the name of his mother, his widowed sister-in-law and fixed deposit for his niece.The compensation amounts were handed to him at the Daryaganj District Revenue Office here Thursday evening.

His brother Muhammed Quasim, a cycle-rickshaw puller, was killed in the Sep 13 blast at Gaffar Market in Karol Bagh. Hassan was forced to bring Quasim’s widow Masrat, 23, and her year-old daughter Munaja down to Delhi so they could give proof about themselves as Quasim’s heirs.

“We have been given a cheque for Masrat and fixed deposit for Munaja of Rs.170,000 each. For my mother too, a cheque for Rs.160,000 was given,” Hassan told IANS.

The compensation was processed after a month of shuttling to and fro between Delhi and his hometown Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir.

Hassan is still concerned about how he will access the sum.

“We don’t have bank accounts, they (officials) say that they will open an account in Jammu and Kashmir Bank. But what is the guarantee that the sum for Munaja will be made available once she turns 18?” Hassan enquires.

The case, according to officials, was difficult to process because there were multiple heirs to the compensation amount of Rs.500,000 from the government. In addition, the heirs were not residents of Delhi.

“In many cases there are multiple claimants to the compensation, and a policy catering to that has not been made. At a higher level they were working out whether to give the entire sum to one member or distribute it proportionately,” Yash Pal Malhotra, district revenue officer, told IANS.

Quasim’s is the first case where the entire sum has been proportionately divided among his relatives.

Hassan, who plied cycle-rickshaws for 14 years in the capital, now wants to leave as he fears another terror strike.

“Walking down the road, images of the dustbin blowing off to bits near me flash in my mind. No, I don’t feel secure - for this I hold the government responsible,” he said.

At least 26 people were killed in the Sep 13 serial blasts.

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