Anti-Sikh riot victims get compensation after 32 years
A wait of over 32 years of raw ordeal for two 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims ended last week when the Madhya Pradesh high court directed the state government to compensate them along with interest on the sum at the rate of 8.5% per annum since 1984. The certified copy of the court order was released on Thursday.indore Updated: Aug 26, 2016 12:43 IST
A wait of over 32 years of raw ordeal for two 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims ended last week when the Madhya Pradesh high court directed the state government to compensate them along with interest on the sum at the rate of 8.5% per annum since 1984. The certified copy of the court order was released on Thursday.
The court ordered the state government to pay Rs 3,77,398 to one liquor shop owner Sharan Singh and Rs 1,04,160 to one saw mill owner Surjeet Singh along with the interest on the sum. In addition, it also imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 each in both the cases, saying that it will be initiating suo-motu contempt against the state if the order is not complied with in a period of 90 days.
Surjeet’s saw mill was set afire in Snehlata Ganj by hooligans while a mob looted Sharan’s liquor shop during the violence. Both lodged FIRs with police in this regard but were denied compensation by the state government as their names were not enlisted in Daira Panji (list of riot-affected people) records, created on the recommendations of the Justice Nanavati commission.
The matters came up before the high court in 2001, which five years later passed the orders directing the state government to provide compensation to the victims.
“Both Surjeet and Sharan had submitted the court orders along with applications to district magistrate for claiming compensation, but to no avail. They were made to run from pillar to post till today,” said their counsel Himanshu Joshi, adding that another writ petition was moved in 2014.
While hearing the matter, Justice SC Sharma of Indore bench of the high court observed that ‘the present case reflects very sorry state of affairs in a democratic set up.’ “It is very unfortunate that on the account of red-tapism, the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots are struggling hard before the system to get their compensation due for last 32 years,” Justice Sharma observed.
While passing the final order, the court observed: “No amount of compensation is going to heal the wounds of riot victims. The scars of violence are very deep on the Sikh community. The right of compensation is only a measure to provide some help to the victims, who have lost their near and dear ones and who have lost their property. And state government is rejecting their claims on frivolous ground that their names do not find place in Daira Panji.”