Rs. 5 lakh for kin of cross-border firing victims

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a proposal for providing compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to the kin of those killed in cross-border firing along the India-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir.

Minister of State (PMO) Jitendra Singh said the compensation would also be available for people living in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK). “They are also part of India. This compensation cannot be given to them unless they are out of the illegal occupation of Pakistan,” Mr. Singh said.

Till now, there was no Central scheme to compensate victims of cross-border firing.

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval to enhance the compensation under the ‘Central Scheme for Assistance to Civilian Victims of Terrorist, Communal, Left Wing Extremist (LWE), Cross Border Firing and Mine or Improvised Explosive Devices blasts on Indian Territory’ from Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh.

“It is a historic decision,” he said. More than 50 civilians die a year in J&K. In Jammu, 192 km, which is referred to as working boundary by Pakistan is manned by the BSF, while the remaining 8 km is secured by the Indian Army. Beyond these 8 km, lies the 740 km Line of Control (LoC), which lies in the Kashmir Valley and is secured by the Indian Army.

A total of 168 civilians were killed due to Naxal violence in Maoist-hit States in 2015.

“Now onwards, any civilian who dies anywhere in the country due to terror attack, LWE violence, firing from across the border, shelling or IED explosion will be given Rs. 5 lakh as compensation uniformly. The amount will be given to the next of kin of the victim, an official release said.

The amount will also be given to those who sustain 50 per cent or more disability or incapacitation due to the same reasons, it said.

“The compensation will be given subject to the condition that no employment has been provided to any of the family members of the victims by the State or Central governments,” the release said.

During the Prime Minister’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir on October 23, 2014, the issue of financial assistance to the people killed in cross-border firing was raised.

“In view of the hardships faced by the civilian population, the government decided to include the civilian victims of cross-border firing under the scheme,” the release said.

“Families of the victims will be eligible for assistance under the scheme even if they have received any other assistance, by way of payment of ex gratia or any other type of relief from the government or any other source except when a similar scheme is already being implemented by the Central government,” the release said.

So far, the government has disbursed Rs. 35.89 crore as compensation to civilian victims since inception of this scheme in 2008.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 3:19:53 AM |

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