2001 Parliament attack: Still waiting for compensation, say kin of slain cops
While the kin of the security personnel killed in the attack are happy that justice has been served, they are still waiting for the compensation that they were promised.Updated: Dec 13, 2019 03:49 IST
On December 13, 2001, Manoj Dabas (now 39) was being operated on in Lok Nayak hospital to amputate his left arm, charred due to an accident at home, when his father, head constable Om Prakash, died fighting with five Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Laskhar-e-Taiba terrorists, who stormed the Parliament.
Dabas’s grandfather, Chaudhary Sardar Singh (now deceased) decided not to share the news with his grandson. “It was only after I was discharged from the hospital and reached home that I learnt about my father’s death,” said Dabas.
Om Prakash and four other Delhi Police personnel were among those killed by the terrorists. The five policemen were part of the Vice President’s security. They were awarded the Kirti Chakra, awarded for valour, courageous action or sacrifice outside the battlefield.
Although all five terrorists involved in the attack were killed during the gunfire with security personnel on December 13 itself, four persons were arrested and charged as masterminds within days. The case against the four — Mohammed Afzal Guru, Shaukat Hussain, Afsan Guru and SAR Geelani — proceeded through the decade, with the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court eventually acquitting two, and upholding the death sentence of one. Geelani, a professor in Delhi University, was acquitted for “need of evidence” by the Delhi HC in 2003, a decision upheld by the SC in 2005. Afsan Guru, too, was cleared of charges and Hussain served jail time. Afzal Guru was hanged in 2013.
In August, Parliament amended an anti-terror law to enable individuals (as opposed to organisations) to be designated as terrorists. JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar was one of four to be declared individual terrorists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019.
While the kin of the security personnel killed in the attack are happy that justice has been served, they are still waiting for the compensation that they were promised. Prakash’s family has received compensation which included a flat in Delhi, but the families of Ghanshyam Patel,Vijender Singh, Nanak Chand and Ram Pal Singh are still waiting to get the flats promised by the government.
“We were promised a DDA flat but 18 years have passed and the government is yet to keep its promise,” said Ganga Devi, wife of Nanak Chand, who has decided to protest by not participating in the anniversary function organised by the government every year on December 13.
“This year, I have decided to pay homage to my husband by holding a similar function at my village in Sonepat and inviting families of other personnel who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty and for the nation,” she added.
The families of the other slain police personnel said they have decided to raise their concerns, including the allotment of flats, before the government and parliamentarians.
“We constructed a memorial on our village panchayat land using our own funds. Today, the memorial is in a dilapidated state. A primary school and a road in our neighbourhood were named in my father’s memory. But the school’s name has been changed and the signage is gone. Other than the anniversary, nobody comes to see us,” said Patel’s son Bacchu Singh, who lives with his family in Kosi Kalan in Mathura.