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December 13 attack: No relief yet

Relatives of the victims of the terror strike accuse the government of not providing them with promised relief on the sixth anniversary of the attack.

delhi Updated: Dec 14, 2007 02:22 IST

Six years of heartache came pouring out when, on the anniversary of the attack on Parliament House, relatives of the victims of the terror strike accused the government of not providing them with promised relief.

One of them, the widow of late police officer Nanak Chand, broke down at the commemorative function attended by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, among others, at Parliament on Thursday.

Later, an embarrassed government said petrol pumps had been commissioned to the kin of eight of the nine victims of the terror attack on December 13, 2001. Of these, three retail outlets were commissioned in 2003, one in 2006 and four in 2007, agency reports quoted Petroleum Minister Murli Deora as saying. He said the government had accorded "top priority" in providing relief to the victims' families.

As the vice president and the PM were leaving, Chand's widow Ganga Devi broke down, narrating her story before an audience that included Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Leader of Opposition LK Advani and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi.

"We don't want all these tributes to be paid. I don't have anything. The government has not fulfilled promises made to me as part of compensation," she said, adding she was yet to get land for a petrol pump allotted to her.

Some other relatives, with similar complaints, stayed away from the function, preferring to pay their tribute at "Amar Jawan Jyoti" instead, agency reports said.

Last year, upset over the delay in hanging Mohammad Afzal who masterminded the attack, relatives of the victims returned the medals they received for the bravery of those who gave up their lives fighting the terrorists.