Two years after Jat stir: Rioters’ kin given govt jobs, but victims’ families still sustaining on loans
Two years later, time has only deepened the trauma of the victims who have been left to fend for themselves by the government. While families of those termed ‘rioters’ by security forces have been given jobs and compensation.india Updated: Feb 19, 2018 09:34 IST
Black soot, burnt vehicles, festering wounds — the traces of February 2016’s Jat reservation stir are still scattered across Jhajjar’s Chhawani Mohalla where mobs went on rampage for hours in the absence of police.
Two persons were killed and more than 30 injured in this small colony that witnessed worst of the caste rivalry. Houses built with lifelong savings were gutted and businesses running from generations were robbed at gunpoint.
Two years later, time has only deepened the trauma of the victims who have been left to fend for themselves by the government. While families of those termed ‘rioters’ by security forces have been given jobs and compensation due to constant threats by the All India Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS), the kin of victims of the violence have been sustaining on loans while waiting for the government’s attention.
The 54-year-old Angoori Devi never stepped out of her house to work till last year when all her resources dried up.
‘It has been days since I cooked meal at home’
Devi’s husband Krishna Saini was shot dead in front of her eyes during the riots. To support her four kids, she now works on agriculture fields and earns Rs 100 a day. “It has been 15 days since I last cooked a full meal at home. I borrow curd and pickle from neighbours to feed chapaatis to my children. I used to live a respectable life when my husband was alive. But now, I find money lenders knocking at my doors every other day for repayment,” she said.
Devi got Rs 10 lakh as compensation, which she used to marry her eldest daughter of and for the treatment of her two sons who suffered pellet injuries during the riots.
Her eldest son was promised a government job, but was denied joining by Rohtak PGIMS due to a hearing ailment.
“I had to pull out my two children from school because I couldn’t afford their education. My younger daughter has not recovered ever since she saw her father’s body while my youngest son is trying to find a job to support the family,” she said.
Denied job as name mentioned in an FIR
The family of Shyam Saini — second casualty from the colony — is no better. Shyam’s widow Bharti Devi also got ₹10 lakh, which she spent likewise. Her son, too, has been denied the promised government job as his name was mentioned in an FIR during riots.
“My husband was employed with the PWD. The department credits money once in three months. They tell us that government is short of funds,” Bharti rued.
Across the colony live the victims of the unprecedented violence who are disappointed with the government’s step-motherly treatment.
“My entire house was burnt in the violence. For the compensation, the government is making me run from one department to another,” said Amit Saini, an advocate.
Vikas Saini, who was left blind in one eye due to pellet injury, has not received even a single penny from the government so far.
A cheque for Rs 2 lakh came did come to him, but he could not encash it as it was addressed to his nickname. The matter was reported to authorities two years ago, but a revised cheque has not been sent so far.
At least 20 other victims say they have not been paid for the damages they bore.
First Published: Feb 18, 2018 11:10 IST