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Will compensate Jodhpur detainees if Centre fails to pay its share: Captain

The CM made this clear after a telephonic conversation with Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba, whom he had called up to urge for early resolution of the matter in view of the prolonged suffering of the detainees

punjab Updated: Jun 25, 2018 21:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Jodhpur detainees,Centre,Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh (HT Photo)

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said the state government will pay full compensation to Operation Bluestar Jodhpur detainees if the Union government fails to release its 50% share.

The CM made this clear after a telephonic conversation with Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba, whom he had called up to urge for early resolution of the matter in view of the prolonged suffering of the detainees, who were arrested during the 1984 Operation Bluestar and kept in the Jodhpur prison for five years.

As Union home minister Rajnath Singh was on a foreign visit, the CM decided to take up the case with the home secretary and demanded immediate steps by the central government to release compensation awarded by the Amritsar district court. The Centre should withdraw its appeal in the Punjab and Haryana high court against compensation, said Amarinder.

All the 365 arrested from the Golden Temple complex during Operation Bluestar were later released in three lots between March 1989 and July 1991. Of them, 224 appealed for compensation alleging wrongful detention and torture. But the Central Bureau of Investigation contested the case and won it in the lower court in 2011.

Some died and others did not pursue the case further. But 40 detainees went in appeal against the order to the Amritsar sessions court and were awarded ₹4 lakh each as compensation with 6% interest (from date of filing of the appeal to payment of compensation) in April last year.

The court had held the Union and state governments as jointly liable for payment of the compensation. Though the Punjab government had given an undertaking to the court to pay half the amount, the Union government moved an appeal in the high court against the order.

The CM had last week written a letter to the Rajnath pointing out that the central government’s appeal against compensation had evoked a strong reaction amongst the Sikh community.

On Saturday, the CM assured a delegation of the Jodhpur detainees to take up their case with the Union government for withdrawal of an appeal in the high court against compensation.

First Published: Jun 25, 2018 21:53 IST