New Delhi: There is some relief in sight for as many as 1,020 families hit by the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and migrated to Punjab from different parts of the country. As part of a centrally-sponsored rehabilitation scheme, all families will now receive Rs 2 lakh.
The development follows a recommendation of the Justice (retd) G P Mathur Committee, which was set up by the Narendra Modi government in December 2014 to look into various grievances related to the 1984 riots. More importantly, the Centre's dole comes just ahead of the Assembly elections in the state.
According to an official of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has approved reopening of the scheme for providing rehabilitation grant of Rs 2 lakh each to 1,020 families who had migrated to Punjab from Delhi and other parts of the country following 1984 riots, a Home Ministry official said.
These cases will be reopened only for a limited period of six months from the date of sanctioning of the scheme.
Government has also approved the recommendation of the Committee to provide skill and upgrading of skill for members of the affected families to the Ministry of Skill Development and government of Punjab with the request to formulate a scheme in this regard.
Following assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, anti-Sikh riots took place in Delhi and other places. Altogether 3,325 people were killed in the riots. Of them, Delhi alone accounted for 2,733 deaths and the rest deaths were in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states.
The government had already set up a Special Investigation Team, as suggested by the Mathur Committee, for conducting a fresh probe into all cases relating to the pogrom in Delhi and some other states.
The Justice Nanavati Commission had recommended reopening of only four of the 241 cases closed by police but BJP wanted re-investigation into all the other 237 cases.
However, it was not clear as to how many anti-Sikh riot cases have been recommended for reopening by the Justice Mathur Committee.
Of the 241 related cases, only four were reopened and re-investigated by CBI. In two of the cases, CBI had filed a charge sheet and in one of the cases five persons, including a former MLA, were convicted.
On December 10, 2014, the government had approved a proposal to give an additional compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
(With PTI inputs)