The Maharashtra government has agreed in principle to make an ex gratia payment of Rs 5-lakh each to parents of policemen and other security personnel killed in fight against terrorists in Mumbai.
A concerned was expressed in the state Assembly on Friday over the leakage of details of official interrogation of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab in TV media.
Raising the issue, the NCP member Sachin Aher said it was shocking that video clips of Kasab's interrogation are freely being aired by a national TV news channel. "How these details were obtain by TV channel, who leaked to them. This kind of exposure will not only hamper the official investigation but it could also a misuse by forces against India," he said.
Aher further referred to some Opposition members repeatedly reading of official Intelligence advisories on the possibility of terrorist attack in Mumbai, and said it was also shocking that such confidential matter were being publicly debated. "The Opposition is treating these confidential intelligence warnings like hand bills. This can endanger our national security. The government must do something to ensure that the confidential matters, concerning security should not be made public, he added.
The leader of the Opposition, Ramdas Kadam objected to Aher's comments and pointed out that the Opposition was compelled to refer to the intelligence advisories when the state government went on claiming that no such advisories were issued.
The speaker Kupekar asked the government to take a serious note of Aher's suggestions.
An assurance to this effect was given by the Maharashtra Finance minister Dilip Wadse-Patil in the state Assembly on Friday on a suggestion made by the former deputy chief minister and the NCP member, RR Patil. The minister clarified that the ex gratia payment would be an addition to the benefit already announced by the state government for the next of kin of security men killed during the 26/11 attack. The benefits include: an ex gratia amount of Rs 25-lakh, a free housing, a job for an eligible member of the victim and pension for the spouse.
Earlier, making the suggestion, Patil said that though the benefit announced for the family of the martyrs of the terrorist attack were worthy of appreciation, they don't take into account parents of the victims who live away in some remote parts of the state. In many such cases when the policemen in question were alive they used to look after parents living elsewhere in the state. With their sons killed in the fight against terrorists, many of these parents live in extremely poor condition as there was no one to support them. The government would do well to ensure economic support for these parents. This would be the best tribute to the martyrs, Patil added.
Speaker Babasaheb Kupekar welcomed the suggestion and advised the government to take a suitable decision. Some members of the opposition also supported the suggestion.
The Congress member Nana Padole got up to say that the government should extend similar benefits to the policemen killed in fight against naxalites in the state. The government should not differentiate between the victims of naxalite terror and foreign terrorists, he pointed out.
To this, the finance minister Wadse-Patil said that such matter would not be decided upon without proper discussion in the state cabinet. "We will look into it soon," he added.