Haridwar police arrested a Madhya Pradesh couple on Monday evening for wrongly declaring their two children missing and claiming compensation from the Uttarakhand government for victims of the 2013 Kedarnath floods.
According to police, Ramkripal and Vidya, who hail from Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh (MP), were fighting over some money at Vishnughat in Haridwar. The couple were living there with their five children for the last few days. Cops interrogated the couple after receiving a tip-off. The couple was produced before the court on Tuesday and sent to jail.
“Accused Ram Kirpal is a drug addict who worked as mason at Kedarnath. He was fighting with his wife over the compensation amount. We have received the death certificate of their two children who are still alive” MS Negi, inspector at Haridwar police station said. Vidya was allegedly opposed to her husband wasting the money on his addiction.
Police said that couple had given false information in September 2013 to police that their children Mamta (15) and Ajay (6) had gone missing from Kedarnath. The police registered a complaint and thereafter, a compensation of Rs 7 lakh was released to the couple – Rs 4 lakh from the Uttarakhand government and Rs 3 lakh from the MP government. The parents, after receiving the compensation, changed the names of their children to Puja and Amar in all government records.
Navneet Singh, Superintendent Police (city) Haridwar said police are informing MP police about couple’s fraud.
According to government records, around 5,600 people were killed in the flash floods that ravaged Kedar valley in 2013. The government had earlier declared 4,251 people dead, with 1,497 people missing. The state released Rs 2 lakh to the kin of every dead pilgrim. An additional amount ranging between Rs 2-5 lakh were provided to the relatives of the dead pilgrims by respective governments.