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Iraq killings: Punjab CM Amarinder promises compensation, but says Centre should also pitch in

Amarinder Singh reiterated his demand for the Centre to also recompense the victims since the tragedy had occurred overseas.

punjab Updated: Mar 22, 2018 21:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Iraq killings,indians killed in Iraq,Amarinder Singh
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh responding to question during the question hour on the third day of the Budget Session in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on Thursday.(HT Photo)

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, on Thursday, told the assembly that the state government would provide adequate compensation to families of 27 workers from the state, who are among the 39 Indian workers killed in Mosul city of Iraq. He reiterated his demand for the Centre to also recompense the victims since the tragedy had occurred overseas.

Amarinder ordered the immediate release of Rs 20,000 monthly pension to each of the bereaved families for February and March 2018, waiving the condition of quarterly payouts. “Deputy commissioners have been asked to disburse the pension immediately,” he added.

Amarinder’s statement came after SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia accused the state government of not paying pension to these families for the past six months.

“It is a sensitive matter. The government should take care of these families. Why is the state government shirking its responsibility and passing it to the Centre? Doesn’t it have any responsibility towards these families,” he asked.

In response, the CM said payment had been made till January 31, 2018, as of Wednesday. With the release of pension for the next two months, the payment was now up to date, he added. Later, talking to reporters, he clarified that the state government had been paying the monthly pension to 24 families, of which it had information on, previously.

Amarinder had informed the House that, as per information from the Union ministry of external affairs, there are 27 victims from the state. Of these, 11 were from the Majha region and 11 from Doaba, with the remaining five from other parts of the state.

Intervening in a discussion initiated by leader of opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira on financial assistance to the next of the kin of the bereaved families, the CM told the House that his government would duly follow all criteria for compensation in such matters.

“My government will not indulge in any politics or arguments with the Centre on grant of compensation,” he said, adding, “It is the Central government’s responsibility also to provide financial assistance since the killings took place outside the country.”

In response to questions from members, he said the mortal remains of the victims would take some time to reach India as there were legal issues that the ministry of external affairs was sorting out with the authorities in Mosul.

First Published: Mar 22, 2018 21:10 IST