34 years on, compensation for Blue Star detainees

first_imgThe detainees who were arrested and kept in a Jodhpur prison following the Army operation to flush out militants from the Golden Temple in 1984 will finally get some relief with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh scheduled to hand over compensation money to them today, a government spokesperson said on Wednesday.The Chief Minister will distribute cheques totalling ₹4.5 crore to 40 of the detainees here at a programme in the presence of all members of his Cabinet, the spokesperson said.Capt. Singh had recently written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and also spoken to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba on the matter. He had said if the Centre failed to pay its share of the compensation, then the State government will take over that liability too.300 people arrested Around 300 people were arrested and detained in the Jodhpur jail in June 1984 in the wake of Operation Blue Star, and were later released in three batches, between March 1989 and July 1991.Of these, 224 had appealed for compensation in the lower court, alleging wrongful detention and torture but they failed to get any relief from the court in 2011.However, 40 of the them went in appeal to the District and Sessions Court, Amritsar, and were awarded ₹4 lakh each as compensation with 6% interest (from the date of filing of the appeal to payment of compensation) in April last year.Appeal by CentreThe court had held the Union and the State governments jointly liable for payment of the compensation, and although the Punjab government had given an undertaking to the court to pay half the amount, the Centre had moved an appeal in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the order, the spokesperson said.Earlier, the Chief Minister had also met the Jodhpur detainees and assured them of his government’s full support.Strong reaction The detainees had been suffering for the past several years for no fault of theirs, the Capt. Singh had said, while pointing out that the Centre’s decision to go in appeal against the compensation award had evoked a strong reaction among the Sikh community and was further likely to lead to a sense of alienation and perceived injustice among the community.last_img

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