Indicting the Maharashtra government for its failure to take “timely action” to protect people during anti-north Indian agitation by the MNS, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked it to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of two men killed in 2008.
Reminding the Congress-NCP government of its constitutional duty to safeguard the lives of the migrant people, the NHRC said: “It is unfortunate that the state government did not muster the political will to rein in the divisive forces and failed to take timely action for the protection of citizens.”
It rejected the government’s plea of monetary constraint, saying, “The persons who lost their lives were poor labourers. Their families have lost bread earners and the government can’t evade its liability to give appropriate relief on the ground of financial constraints.”
On the state government’s submission that it has already given a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each to the family of the deceased, the NHRC said the amount “was grossly inadequate for the loss of human life”. The rights body asked the state to make the payments as desired by it to the victims’ families by April 26.
Vinod Singh, a migrant from Bihar and a security guard in Jindal Company, lost his life in violence at Nasik on February 13, 2008. The same day, Amba Das died after being injured during stone pelting by a mob.
The NHRC said the state failed to explain what measures it took to protect north Indians working in the state.
Taking cognisance of media reports about the killing of migrants in Maharashtra, the NHRC had issued notice to the state. Later, former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, Uttar Bhartiya Shramik Elgar and Jai Hind Jhuggi Jhopadi Sangh of Mumbai too had approached the commission on the issue.