Family of terror accused Khalid Mujahid, who died May 18 while being brought back from a court hearing in Faizabad to the Lucknow prison, has refused to accept the ex-gratia amount of Rs. 6 lakh announced by the Uttar Pradesh government.
The offer of the government, announced Monday last, has evoked the family's ire. The family made it known that they had no intention of accepting the ex-gratia amount Wednesday, when cabinet minister Parasnath Yadav met them at Jaunpur.
As he acted as a representative of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, the minister was bluntly told that the family believed that Khalid was killed in cold blood in police custody; there was thus no way they would accept the financial compensation.
An angry Maulana Zaheer Alam Falahi, uncle of the deceased, told the minister that the family was livid at the statement of Akhilesh Yadav that Mujahid had died because of an illness.
While the minister tried to tell the family that the fact of an ex-gratia payment from the government was indication of Mujahid's innocence, the family would have none of it, and told him to take the cheque back with him.
The minister then roped in local minority leaders to plead his case with the family, but they too failed to persuade the dead man's kin to accept the money.
The uncle of the deceased told the minister that they did not wish to stain the memory of the departed one by accepting the cheque.
The Akhilesh Yadav government is under fire from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the matter, as it accused the state government of "endangering national security by extending ex-gratia payment to a terror accused."
A delegation of the BJP, led by its state president Laxmikant Bajpayi, met Governor B.L. Joshi Wednesday to protest the government's decision to give financial compensation to the kin of Mujahid.