Government liable to pay relief to fire victims’ kin: NHRC

March 20th, 2008 - 7:26 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Thursday held the Uttar Pradesh government liable to give financial relief to the families of those killed in a fire in Saharanpur after the employer did not compensate them. “Give monetary relief to 11 families who lost their bread earners in an explosion which took place in a cracker factory in Saharanpur Oct 18, 2004,” the NHRC said while deploring the Uttar Pradesh government for failing to fulfil its “obligation”.

“The authorities concerned and the employers were negligent in preventing the violation of human rights of the workers,” the panel said in a statement.

“They (authorities and employers) did not even deposit the compensation under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, making the state more liable,” the statement added.

The state is obliged to ensure safety of the workers engaged in hazardous occupations and provide relief to the affected persons in the event of a mishap, the NHRC said.

The commission took a strong exception to the fact that the District Magistrate as well as the Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation forgot the obligation to protect the workers and their families.

“They left the workers at the mercy of the employer. The illiterate workers and their families may not have even known that they were entitled to compensation and how to get it,” the NHRC said.

The explosion in the cracker factory at Rakesh Cinema Road Saharanpur claimed 11 lives. A police complaint was registered against the owner of the factory and it was also found that adequate fire extinguishing equipments were not installed in the factory.

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