MP Congress ends decade-old practice of felicitating emergency detainees on I-Day
Bhopal, Aug 14: The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has stopped the decade-old practice of felicitating people detained during the Emergency in 1975 on Independence Day.
The Congress has alleged most of the MISA and DIR detainees were BJP workers who did not go to jail at the time.
"The BJP government had started the pension and felicitation to oblige them. One can understand the felicitation of freedom fighters and their family members on August 15,'' Indian Express quoted Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza as saying.
During the Emergency imposed by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi-led Congress government between 1975 and 1977, thousands were detained across the country under MISA.
The pension scheme Loknayak Jayprakash Samman Nidhi, was started by the then Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in 2008.
As per the government's decision, those who were imprisoned for a month were given a monthly pension of Rs. 6,000. It later hiked the pension twice to make it Rs 25,000, on par with the amount given to freedom fighters.
About 4,000 people in the state were arrested during the Emergency according to a report published in the India Today in August 2008. In case a MISA detainee dies, the spouse is entitled to take 50 per cent of the honorarium amount.
As per the rule which was amended in 2016, those who had spent more than a month in jail will get Rs 25,000 a month.
Earlier, the state government had suspended the monthly pension of those detained under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during the Emergency.
On December 29 last year, a Madhya Pradesh government order directed officials to carry out physical verification of former MISA detainees and to withhold the monthly pension of Rs 25,000 until completion of the exercise.
The MISA pension costs the state more than Rs 68 crore annually.