Parliament attack victims’ families relive trauma with Mumbai terror

December 12th, 2008 - 4:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) Seven years have not been enough to efface the trauma of the family members of the security personnel who laid down their lives defending Indian Parliament against terrorists. And the recent Mumbai terror strikes have reopened the wounds. Nine people, including security personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Delhi Police, parliament’s watch and ward staff, and a gardener, were killed in the half-hour gun-battle in the parliament complex Dec 13, 2001. The five attackers of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group were all killed.

“My wounds have never healed. The families of Mumbai terror attack victims are suffering from immense pain and I can feel every bit of it,” Jayawati Devi, widow of Delhi police head constable Vijender Singh, told IANS.

“My country is like my family. Thinking of families of those who died in the Mumbai attack, I feel very sad. If possible, I would even go to Mumbai to support those grieving families,” said Jayawati, who lives in Badarpur area.

Terming the government as “corrupt” and “ineffective”, she sought to know what it had done for the families of the security personnel who have lost their lives in the Mumbai attack.

“I am just not able to understand why we are not able to defeat terrorism? What is our government doing?” she said.

The petrol pump awarded to Jayawati has still not been inaugurated. However, she has managed to marry off all her three daughters. One of her sons has begun working while the other one is still studying.

She also thanked All India Anti Terrorist Front chief M.S. Bitta for his constant support through all these years.

Gautam Negi, whose father Matbar Singh Negi of the parliament’s watch and ward staff was also killed in the attack, said he could identify with the feelings of the Mumbai terror victims.

“I can understand what the families of those who died in the Mumbai attack must be feeling. The security personnel will always be the first to die whenever any attack takes place. The politicians should focus on improving the condition of security personnel,” he told IANS.

Gautam, who now works in the same department as his father, said there should be a uniform policy for the welfare of the families of security personnel who lay down their lives for the country.

The compensation should be paid within a fixed timeframe, he added.

The central government had paid Negi’s family million as compensation. But the family is yet to receive Rs.400,000 promised by the Delhi Government.

Gautam said he had met Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit several times but still Negi’s family had not got the compensation.

“No politics should be played on the issue. If the government does not want to give any compensation, then why do they announce it? No security personnel dies thinking that his family will get compensation. Money cannot replace a family member. They die in the line of duty,” he said.

The families were also critical of the delay in execution of the attack mastermind Mohammad Afzal Guru, sentenced to death by the Supreme Court.

Afzal had moved a mercy petition before the President, who sent it to the central home ministry for its opinion. The ministry is yet to respond on the petition.

The family members of the security personnel killed in the parliament attack had returned the gallantry medals awarded posthumously to the President’s House in 2006, saying they would take them back after Afzal was hanged.

“It’s high time. Afzal should be hanged now,” Jayawati Devi said, while Gautam said he thought Afzal would not be hanged for the next 10 to 15 years.

“And if in between any hijacking or terrorist attack takes place, the terrorists will secure his freedom,” he said.

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