17 policemen die of COVID, no relief to kin yet

Delhi govt. had announced ₹1 cr. ex gratia to family of those who succumbed to virus

September 10, 2020 12:02 am | Updated 12:05 am IST - NEW DELHI

Pooja, wife of constable Amit Kumar (left), has been waiting for compensation for four months.

Pooja, wife of constable Amit Kumar (left), has been waiting for compensation for four months.

Delhi Police has lost 17 of its personnel to COVID-19 in the last four months but none of their families has received the ₹1 crore ex gratia announced by the Delhi government, The Hindu has learnt.

Commissioner of Police S.N. Shrivastava confirmed that the 17 families are still awaiting compensation from the government even though most of their files have been submitted by the police to the Revenue Department. “We have already sent the proposals and I understand that their examination is at an advanced stage. We are awaiting their response. We have been pursuing the proposals that we sent,” he said, adding that some of the proposals were recent and the queries raised by the government had been replied to as well.

A Delhi government spokesperson said, “We are yet to receive all the papers from the Delhi police. We have requested them to submit it so that the compensation can be disbursed at the earliest.”

A government order dated May 13 stated that if any person, including sanitation workers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, police personnel and other government officer/official, deployed on COVID-19 duty dies of the infection, he/she shall be paid an ex gratia of ₹1 crore.

Speaking to The Hindu , Pawan Kumar, son of Assistant Sub-Inspector Karambir Singh, said he spoke to officers in the police department about 10 days ago regarding the compensation and was told that the file has already been processed. Karambir died of complications related to COVID-19 on June 9 after spending a week in hospital. He was posted in North East district. Mr. Pawan said his sister and mother are now dependent on him. He used to work as a helper in the railways in Mumbai and had returned to Delhi because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

‘Dependent on savings’

“We have received the compensation from Delhi Police Welfare Society but not from the government. I am the only earning member in the family. How long will the savings last?” he said. “I am concerned about my sister and mother but I will have to go back [to Mumbai] to earn for them.”

Aakash Borghare (28), son of Sub-Inspector Ram Lal Borghare who died on June 3, said his brother has been in touch with the police department but hasn’t heard anything about the compensation yet. Mr. Aakash, who holds a diploma in electronics, works with a private firm in Panchkula. “My younger brother is a graduate. He has applied for a position in Delhi Police in place of our father. My mother is a housewife. I am supporting them with my salary,” he said, adding that the family received the compensation from Delhi Police which they used to repay a loan Ram Lal had taken.

The family of constable Amit Kumar, who was the first Delhi policeman to succumb to COVID-19 on May 5, has been waiting for the compensation for four months. His wife Pooja, five months pregnant, is taking care of their three-year-old son.

“I have made so many calls and met officials in person too. The police department says it has processed the file. I don’t know about its status now,” said Ms. Pooja’s brother Ravi.

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