FOLLOWING REPEATED complaints of delay in payments, the State Minorities Commission has slapped a final notice on the district administration to furnish details regarding compensation disbursed among victims of the 1984 riots after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination.
The Commission has set January 10 deadline for submitting a report on the number of recipients and the total amount distributed in the second instalment of compensation payments. Failure to comply would result in the matter being referred to the State Government, warned the Commission in a missive to Collector Vivek Aggarwal on January 2.
Compensation amounting to Rs 7.5 crore is to be distributed to roughly 800 families in Indore district, the largest number of riot-affected people in any part of the State.
The deadline came when riot victims complained of irregularities in compensation distribution to Minorities Commission member P S Anand during a two-day camp for riot victims organised last month.
At the camp, the riot-hit complained that they were being treated like beggars and made to run from pillar to post for the money. They further charged that the compensation distribution mechanism was being run according to the dictates of one Amarjit Singh and the money wasn’t released until his palms were greased.
“Even if the Collector has sanctioned a payment of Rs 20,000 those in charge only issue the minimum amount of Rs 2,000 unless they are paid off,” charged a Sikh who wished to remain anonymous.
Faced with numerous complaints, the Commission contacted the district administration. “Since the camp was held we have written to the Indore Collector dozens of times seeking the reasons for the delay, but haven’t received a single answer. Now a final notice has been issued and if there’s still no response we’ll take up the matter with the Chief Secretary,” P S Anand told the Hindustan Times.
Castigating the officials involved for failing to ensure timely payments to aggrieved families, Anand demanded to know why the administration couldn’t locate ‘800 families when they’ve had 22 years to do so’.
Collector Vivek Aggarwal claimed ignorance of the Commission’s notice. “It hasn’t come to my attention so far. Once we receive it we shall decide on what action is to be taken.’’