On December 13, 2001, seven security personnel, a gardener and a photojournalist were killed when Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and Jaish-e Mohammad terrorists attacked Parliament. Seven years on, their kin feel forgotten: they have got little help from the government. And even that took a lot of effort to get.
Inderjeet Chail’s father, ASI Nanak Chand, was one of those who died battling the terrorists. Inderjeet, who
was 18 years old then, was forced to drop out of school and take care of his family. Nanak Chand had been a driver with then vice-president Krishan Kant.
The government had promised the Sonepat-based family a petrol pump. “It took us six years to get possession of the petrol pump in Gurgaon,” said Inderjeet.
“We had to bribe officials to get the possession. It has been over a year but there is neither water nor a proper sewage system at the pump allotted to us. Whatever I earn goes in maintenance and paying the rent.”
Inderjeet said the family exhausted its savings shuttling between Sonepat and Chandigarh for the petrol pump licence. “My mother Vimla Devi met senior officials,” he said. “But they told her they did not care if she were a martyr’s wife. They said they had other issues to settle.”
Matbar Singh, a security assistant in Parliament’s watch and ward section, was among the ones who died when the terrorists struck. Gautam Negi, his son, said the government paid Rs 10 lakh as compensation but the family was yet to receive the Rs 4 lakh promised by the Delhi government.
Sunita Devi lost her photojournalist husband, Vikram Bisht, who was covering the attack, that day. She lives with her parents in Ghaziabad now. “I have two small children, aged 10 and six,” said Sunita. “I depend on my parents for sustenance. I even met petroleum minister Murli Deora and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, but all I got was empty promises.”
Meanwhile, a function was organised at Parliament on Saturday to pay homage to the people who died in the terrorist attack seven years ago. Just 10 MPs turned up.