With the execution of Ajmal Qasab last week, a protracted four-year-long wait for justice finally saw a satisfying culmination for some. For many families who lost their loved ones to the carnage, however, another prolonged wait is still in store — 88 of these families are yet to receive the compensation package of Rs 3 lakh each that was promised to them by the Union Home Ministry in the wake of the attack.
Of the 164 people whose lives were claimed by the attack, only 76 families have received the compensation from the ministry, while the remaining 88 are still waiting. The delay is perplexing, as the compensation amount has already been received by the different states of the country, for the purpose of distribution to the victims living within their borders. They were meant to be collected from the district magistrates of different districts after some paperwork was completed. The paperwork is still being processed.
The attack claimed 164 lives, while 250 were injured. All their families, barring one which could not be traced, received Rs 5 lakh each from the state government, and Rs 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister’s fund.
Chief Secretary Jayant Banthia said, “Compensation packages worth Rs 5 lakh and Rs 2 lakh have been distributed to 163 families. We haven’t been able to identify the one remaining family yet. The remaining amount of Rs 3 lakh has been given to 76 families, whereas distribution is still under process for the other 88 families. Some paperwork is holding it up. Compensation of Rs 3 lakh was to be given only to families of those who died in the attack, not those who were injured.”
‘They deserve more’
While Banthia confirmed that injured victims are not entitled to the Rs 3 lakh compensation, many of the surviving victims are under the impression that they will be receiving it. BJP leader Kirit Somaiya, who recently met the Chief Minister over the matter of the pending compensation and even submitted a memorandum to him, said, “The injured deserve a lot more than what they have got, as most of their money has been poured into treatment. The government needs to help them. Many victims have not received the full compensation yet, hence I wrote to the CM and have asked him to look into the matter and give the victims what they deserve.”