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Those who were forgotten: Spotlight fades after massacre, kin of CRPF men left in the lurch

HT went back to the families of each of the 12 men killed on March 11 and found that high-voltage online campaigns and social media exhortations had translated into little relief on the ground

india Updated: Apr 29, 2017 19:57 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Maoist militants,Sukma attack,Chhattisgarh
CRPF personnel give gun salute to a soldier killed in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma, in Harayana’s Sonipat.(PTI)

When her husband died last month in a Maoist ambush in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma, Rinki Yadav was showered with countless offers of condolences and financial help.

Local well-wishers, politicians and reporters flooded her modest home in Uttar Pradesh’s Kannauj and assured that a grateful nation would take care of her and the couple’s two children.

But more than a month after the death of her husband Ram Pal Yadav, a constable with the Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF), Rinki says the government hasn’t even released his salary for March, let alone pensions.

Neither has she heard from any of the hundreds of well-wishers.

“The messages stopped in three days,” says the 29-year-old, sitting next to her five and two-year- old boys in a one-room rented house.

Ram Pal was among 12 CRPF men who were killed in the Maoist-hit Sukma on March 11 while building a crucial road link that can scuttle the insurgents. An almost-identical attack just miles away earlier this week sparked a nationwide wave of sympathy for the paramilitary personnel.

But Rinki says the sympathy and good wishes didn’t help her tide over the crushing burden of daily household expenses. None of the promises of financial assistance have materialised.

“We are barely managing, the CRPF hasn’t credited his March salary nor is there any word about the pension,” she says.

The agency says normally all state and central government arrears were paid instantly to the families but pensions and salaries took between four and six months because of formalities.

“We are monitoring it, anyway,” said CRPF deputy inspector general M Dhinakaran.

Rinki’s story isn’t isolated. HT went back to the families of each of the 12 men killed on March 11 and found that high-voltage online campaigns and social media exhortations had translated into little relief on the ground.

The CRPF hasn’t credited his March salary nor is there any word about the pension RINKI YADAV, widow of Ram Pal Yadav (above), who was killed by Maoists in Sukma on March 11.

The family of Inspector HV Bhatt
Inspector, Nainital (Uttarakhand)
’The govt has kept only half the promise it made’
NAINITAL: It was only home minister Rajnath Singh who send a condolence card to the family of inspector HV Bhatt from Ropra village, 22km from Haldwani. "People say that it is a sad thing to hear about your husband and then just go away," said Bhatt’s widow Samta Bhatt. "It is like a personal loss only." The government, she said, has only kept half the promise. "We received the money promised by actor Akshay Kumar, Shuttler Saina Nehwal and part of the payment of dues for the government and are waiting for rest", she said.
Family members of constable Gorakh Nath
Constable, Chandauli, UP
’State government is yet to pay any compensation’
CHANDAULI: Gorakh Nath, one of the 12 CRPF personnel killed in the Sukma attack, was the sole breadwinner of his family in Budhepur village of Chandauli district in Uttar Pradesh. Local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Sushil Kumar took part in last rites and assured the family that a gate would be constructed in the village in the memory of the martyr. But the work on the proposed gate is yet to take off. The family said it has not got any compensation from the state government till date.
Ramraj Verma and wife Kewla
Constable, Pratapgarh, UP
’Received nothing from UP govt’
PRATAPGARH: Still trying to recover from the shock of losing her son, Kewla, 70, spends good part of her day lying on her bed in her home in Dharauli Madhupur village in Pratapgarh. She has hardly eaten ever since March 11 when her 38-year-old son constable Satish Chandra Verma died while fighting the Maoists in Sukma’s Kottacheru village. "I lost my son but the state government did not even send a minister to offer condolence. We have received nothing from the UP government till date," she says. Ramraj, 74, the father claimed to have received ₹9 lakh from film star Akshay Kumar.
Mangesh Pandey’s wife Sheetal
Constable, Nagpur
Slain jawan’s mother stares at uncertain future
NAGPUR: It was adouble whammy of sorts for Pramila Ghyanshyam Balpande, 64. Pramila lost her only son Mangesh Pandey, 35, a CRPF jawan in the Maoist ambush near Sukma in Chhattisgarh on March 11 this year. And now, her daughter-inlaw Sheetal, 26, expressed her intention to desert Pramila and fend for herself. The family has got ₹70 lakh after Pandey’s death. The government paid ₹35 lakh ex-gratia to Sheetal for being left a young widow, actor Akshay Kumar gave ₹9 lakh, ₹14 lakh from Risk Fund, ₹10 lakh from CM’s fund and ₹50,000 from Saina Nehwal, while Pramila, mother of Mangesh, got only ₹6 lakh. The conflict over sharing of money and available opportunity was glaringly visible between the two women. Pramila is at present looking an uncertain future with Sheetal expressing desire to desert her.

(Compiled by Gulam Jeelani in New Delhi with inputs from Haider Naqvi in Kanpur, Sudhir Kumar in Varanasi, K Sandeep Kumar in Allahabad, Pradip Maitra in Nagpur and Abhinav Madhwal in Nainital)

First Published: Apr 29, 2017 17:32 IST