Bhagalpur riot commission faces financial crunch
Sources say the commission has already received 1400 applications so far from riot victims, most of which complain about the inadequate compensation, reports Anirban Guha Roy.
It is now one year since it was constituted. But the Judicial Commission formed to review the compensation provided to the victims of the 1989 Bhagalpur riots is still without the most basic infrastructure any commission of inquiry requires.
The plight of the staff attached to the commission is even worse as they are not only having to do without furniture they can use to discharge their duties, they are also having to bear with much-delayed payment of salaries. However, there is one piece of good news in an otherwise depressing situation - the commission is all set to start its inquiry from May 31.
The commission has already received three extensions, the latest (of one year) being the extension it got in April. Sources said the commission, headed by Justice NN Singh, had been slow in making progress with the inquiry because it had to work without the needed infrastructure. To make matters worse, the Rs 4.68 lakh allocated to the commission every year is yet to be released because of an objection raised by the office of Accountant General. The AG's office has sought clarification from the State Government as to why the money allocated to the commission had been sanctioned from the Emergency Fund.
However, the commission is going ahead with its first spot inquiry in Bhagalpur from May 31 when it will hold a public hearing during which victims of the'89 communal riots will be invited to submit their complaints regarding lack of adequate compensation for life and property lost during the riots.
Sources said the commission had already received 1400 applications so far from riot victims, most of which complained about the inadequate compensation that had been paid to them by the previous RJD Government, for losses suffered during the riots. Incidentally, the N N Commission was constituted by the State's NDA Government with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar emphasising that the commission's report would form the basis for a fresh rehabilitation policy that the State Government would draw up for the riot victims who, besides many other misfortunes, had suffered huge financial losses in 1989. The weaker sections of the Muslim population, especially weavers, had been the worst sufferers.
Kumar had also announced that the criminal cases lodged against the miscreants who were allegedly involved in the riots would be re-examined as many cases were earlier closed on questionable grounds.
The CM's announcement that criminal cases related to the riots would be re-opened had evoked strong protests from the RJD, which said the decision was part of the NDA Government's policy of seeking political vendetta.
Kuldeep Bishnoi, who has recently switched over to the BJP from the Congress after resigning as Adampur legislator on Thursday, started canvassing for the bypoll, the date for which is yet to be declared. Bishnoi broke the ice with his arch-rival Sonali Phogat of the BJP, who lost to him in the 2019 assembly polls. The four-time MLA and two-time parliamentarian Bishnoi will visit the villages of the Adampur constituency till August 20.
Senior Congress leader and Tosham MLA Kiran Choudhry will launch Choudhry's 'khaat yatra' from Kurukshetra, starting from the first week of September. During her yatra, the former minister will hold 'tea meetings' with party workers across the state and has finalised her tours for seven districts. Her supporters told her to run 'parallel' campaigns to the Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda across the state and boost the morale of her workers.
Chandigarh : Leader of opposition Partap Singh Bajwa on Thursday demanded an explanation from the Punjab government for the theft of 12,000 transformers in 2020-21 that caused a loss of ₹52.51 crore in the five zones of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited. He said it appears that after a casual reaction to the theft and registration of an FIR, no steps are taken to go to the root cause of the problem.
Amid the turmoil created in the Shiromani Akali Dal following the recommendations of the Jhundan panel report and the subsequent dismantling of the party's organisational structure by its president Sukhbir Singh Badal, a section of SAD leaders are expected to meet in Sangrur on August 20 to discuss the “way forward for party's betterment.” The party leaders will meet on the day after a rally fixed to mark the barsi of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal.
Fatehgarh Sahib : Punjab Police have arrested three persons, including a Mansa-based scrap dealer, for fraudulently selling scrapped cars after tampering with their chassis numbers and getting them registered as legitimate vehicles, to customers in Punjab and other states. Puneet Trading Company owner Puneet Goyal is absconding and police teams have launched a hunt to arrest him, Deputy inspector general of police, Ropar range, Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said.