Refusing Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) compensation on Sunday, deputy chief fire officer Sudhir Amin’s family demanded that their queries concerning the functioning of the fire department be answered.
In a letter to mayor Snehal Ambekar, Sharmila, Amin’s wife, questioned the BMC’s decision to promote him as deputy chief fire officer only when he was fighting for his life. Amin, who suffered 90% burns in the Kalbadevi incident, passed away on Thursday.
In the letter, Sharmila wrote: “My husband was given the charge of deputy chief fire officer a year ago. The promotion was not given to him till he was admitted in the hospital and was fighting for life. How was it sanctioned immediately after the fire incident? An inquiry should be conducted about who was responsible for the delaying the promotion.”
While Amin was admitted at the National Burns Hospital, the civic house headed by Ambekar cleared the proposal to promote him as deputy chief fire officer, a proposal that was pending as ‘urgent business’ for almost a year. His family demanded that the compensation and privileges be given as per those applicable to a deputy chief fire officer.
Amin is a recipient of Presidents’ medal for gallantry for his role during the 26/11 rescue operations. In her letter, his wife stated that the Presidents’ office had written to the chief minister in 2014, asking government to provide accommodation to him. “However, till date there is no replay or whatsoever,” she wrote.
The letter also mentioned that labour officers visited Sharmila on May 16, pursuing her to accept a job with the BMC. “I want to make it clear that that I don’t want sympathy or pity. The family members of a fire fighter should get all the facilities if he dies while responding to the call of duty. I state that till I get satisfactory and acceptable answers, I will not accept the compensation offered for me.”
The BMC's chief public relations officer however clarified by issuing a statement that the cheque was not accepted due to technical errors. "The mayor and leader of the house, Trushna Vishwasrao, assured that all due benefits will be given by the BMC," Vijay Khabale said.