Compensation for victims of Bhagalpur riots under consideration: Centre

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New Delhi, Mar 11 : The Centre has received a proposal from the Bihar Government for grant of similar relief and rehabilitation package to the victims of Bhagalpur riots of 1989-90, as given to the victims of anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

The proposal is under consideration in the Ministry of Home Affairs and a final decision is yet to be taken, said Minister of State for Home Affairs Sriprakash Jaiswal.

Earlier, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said "I am going to write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting a package identical to the ones for the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh and 2002 Gujarat communal riots for those of Bhagalpur carnage."

He said his government was willing to grant life-long pension to widows and old parents of the riot victims as envisaged in the Centre's rehabilitation package for anti-Sikh riot victims.

The Justice N N Singh Commission of Inquiry had recommended that victims of the 1989-90 Bhagalpur riots should be compensated on par with those of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The Commission constituted in February 2006, has in its interim report submitted to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, said "There were similarities in the 1984 anti-Sikh riot and the Bhagalpur riots of 1989-90 in regard to their enormity, extent, barbarism, devastation and loss of life and property."

"The duration of Bhagalpur riots in which 1,000 people were killed surpassed that of 1984 Sikh riots and both riots resulted in enormous human tragedy," the Commission said.

The Commission has suggested that the state government take up the matter with the Centre for grant of similar package for the victims of the Bhagalpur riots.

The interim report of the N N Singh Judicial Commission of Inquiry stressed the need for giving preference to the family members of those killed during Bhagalpur riots in government employment.

ANI

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