Activists urge Kejriwal to increase compensation for riot survivors

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. File

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The letter was written by activists Farah Naqvi, Ms. Bhardwaj, Annie Raja, Mr. Mander, Apoorvanand, Anirban Bhattacharya and Amrita Johri.

A group of activists, including Harsh Mander and Anjali Bhardwaj, has urged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to increase the compensation given to the survivors of the communal riots in north-east Delhi, including an increase in the compensation to the family of a deceased person from ₹10 lakh to ₹25 lakh.

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“The compensation announced to the next of kin of those who died in the Delhi violence is ₹10 lakh. A compensation of ₹13 lakh was given seven years ago by the Uttar Pradesh government after the Muzaffarnagar riots in 2013 for the survivors in a rural economy. Adjusting for inflation and cost of living in an expensive urban metropolis like Delhi, the ex-gratia amount must be enhanced to ₹25 lakh,” a letter written by the group to the Chief Minister read.

The group urged the Chief Minister to include sexual violence, including rape and assault, under categories of injury and provide a compensation of ₹5 lakh. They asked him to provide compensation to workers in the area for the “lost opportunities of employment”.

The letter was written by activists Farah Naqvi, Ms. Bhardwaj, Annie Raja, Mr. Mander, Apoorvanand, Anirban Bhattacharya and Amrita Johri.

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“Forms of sexual violence, recognized under the Indian Penal Code, including rape, assault or criminal force to outrage modesty or intent to disrobe, must be added to the categories of injury with a compensation amount of ₹5 lakhs,” the letter said.

Though the Delhi government had announced immediate financial assistance of ₹25,000 to the families, the activists said many were yet to receive it. “The survival relief of 25,000 must be released immediately to each family. Today, over 2 weeks to the violence, many families we spoke to have not received this amount,” the letter said.

The group demanded that the ₹25,000 must be renewed for families that are still unable to return at the end of 30 days from February 24, 2020, until their final return or resettlement in new locations.

“In case of any default in the timely disbursal of compensation persons shall have the right to complain to the Deputy CM’s office, which should have a designated officer and widely publicized phone number to monitor these complaints till final resolution of claims,”the letter said.

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The group also demanded an increase in the compensation for orphaned children from ₹3 lakh to ₹10 lakh, death of a minor from ₹5 lakh to ₹25 lakh and loss of moveable properties such as buffalo, cow, and sheep from the current ₹5,000 to ₹50,000, ₹30,000 and ₹10,000 respectively.

The Delhi government spokesperson did not offer a comment on the demands made by the activists.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 11:08:22 PM |

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