Anti-Sikh riots: CM distributes cheques, victims demand justice
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday distributed compensation cheques to over 1,300 families affected by the 1984 anti-Sikh riots on the 31st anniversary of the carnage even as the victims’ kin asserted that they wanted justice more than anything.
Kejriwal, accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, distributed the enhanced compensation cheques of Rs 5 lakh each in West Delhi’s Tilak Vihar area to the families of the people killed in the riots that jolted the national Capital in the aftermath of the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The families, however, said they are still waiting for justice and that seeing the guilty being brought to book would be their real compensation.
“It is good that the government has taken some initiative. But three decades have passed since then and money can’t erase the memories of seeing your loved ones being burnt in front of your eyes. Punishing the guilty is more important,” said Kartar Singh, who lost his father in the riots. Wheelchair-bound 75-year-old Kantra Rani, who lost her two sons in the riots, broke down while waiting in queue to get her compensation cheque. She said: “For the past 31 years, we have been living on a fragile hope of getting justice. What happened was barbaric. I lost my innocent sons. God will punish those who are guilty.”
Sisodia informed that 1,300 families whose verification and other required formalities were completed were given the cheques on Sunday and the rest would be handed over their compensation cheques within 15 days. In October last year, the Centre had announced a hike in the compensation to Rs 5 lakh.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had, in December last year, distributed enhanced compensation cheques of Rs 5 lakh each to the 17 kin of riot victims in West Delhi’s Tilak Vihar area. According to sources, so far, around 143 kin of victims of the anti-Sikh riots had been disbursed enhanced
In August this year, the Delhi Cabinet had decided to distribute enhanced compensation cheques as announced by the central government to the kin of the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims. The Delhi government has estimated an expenditure of around Rs 130 crore on compensation for around 2,600 families of ant-Sikh riot victims. The Centre will later refund the compensation amount to the Delhi government.