Senior BJP leader seeks aid for terrorist victims
Senior BJP leader and former minister, Dr Baldev Raj Chawla, has sought a relief package from the central government for those families that were targeted by terrorists in Punjab and had lost their kith and kin during the decade-long period of militancy in the border state.punjab Updated: Nov 11, 2014 22:16 IST
Senior BJP leader and former minister, Dr Baldev Raj Chawla, has sought a relief package from the central government for those families that were targeted by terrorists in Punjab and had lost their kith and kin during the decade-long period of militancy in the border state.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, copies of which he released at a press conference here on Tuesday, Chawla suggested that this package could be on the lines of the fiscal relief that was given to families affected by the anti-Sikh riots of November 1984 or it could be on the lines that was recommended by the state government in 2006, but was never given.
In this context he pointed to the fiscal compensation that was given by the UPA government to the riot victims.
Referring to the 2006 recommendations of the Punjab government to the then central government, the BJP leader pointed out that the state government had sought a total package of Rs 781 crore for terrorist-affected families of Punjab. The state government had urged the central government to make available this amount for disbursement to around 10,636 families, he added.
"However, despite a reminder being sent to the union home ministry by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in 2009, this amount has till date not been made available to the state government. I sincerely hope that your office will look into this matter and get this amount released," Chawla stated in the letter while also seeking a meeting with the PM.
Replying to a query, the BJP leader said that though the number of people killed by terrorists in Punjab was more than 25,000, the state government could identify just 10,636 families. "Efforts could have been made to locate more families had the central government released the amount sought by the state", he added.
"All of us are seeking help for those who lost their near and dear ones during terrorism. We have virtually forgotten that many fled Punjab, abandoning their homes and business establishments. Such families or persons have not been able to settle down even till today," the BJP leader stated.
First Published: Nov 11, 2014 22:13 IST