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Panchkula dera arson: Anil Vij wants relief for victims’ family

Talking to HT, the Haryana health minister said he was making the demand on humanitarian grounds.

punjab Updated: Sep 22, 2017 11:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh/Ambala
Panchkula dera arson,dera sacha sauda,Anil Vij
While Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has kept mum on the issue, sources said, a section of the ministers have been mounting pressure on him for relief to kin of those killed.(HT File )

Haryana health minister Anil Vij on Thursday demanded compensation for families of those killed in police firing to quell the violence that broke out at Panchkula after the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case on August 25.

While Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has kept mum on the issue, sources said, a section of the ministers have been mounting pressure on him for relief to kin of those killed. At least 40 persons were killed in the arson that had spread to Sirsa, the dera headquarters.

“There have been precedents in the state when compensation was given to those killed in firing. Why have different yardsticks? Deaths were unfortunate on both occasions.”

The Sirsa dera had openly supported the BJP in the 2014 assembly elections, paving the way for its stunning victory and the first government of the saffron party in the state.

Sources said the compensation issue was discussed during the informal cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Talking to HT, Vij said he was making the demand on humanitarian grounds. In this context, he also pointed out that the families of those killed in the Jat quota agitation last year were given Rs 10-lakh compensation each. “There have been precedents in the state when compensation was given to those killed in the firing. Why to have different yardsticks? Deaths were unfortunate on both the occasions,” he said.

Vij going public with his compensation demand is being interpreted in political and administrative circles as a well- thought out political move by the beleaguered Khattar-led BJP government to build consensus and assess public opinion on the issue before biting the bullet.

First Published: Sep 22, 2017 11:46 IST