Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

Jamadi Thani 1424 H
August 2003
Volume 16-08 No : 200
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Investigation


Compensation! At Last!

Compensation! At Last!

Fifteen families received a compensation of Rs two lakh each, nearly a decade after the worst-ever communal violence in 1992-93 and subsequent serial bomb blasts, that rocked Mumbai.

By M. H. Lakdawala

The time-tested adage “better late than never” aptly describes the state government’s move to pay Rs two lakh each to legal heirs of missing persons in the 1992-93 communal violence and subsequent serial bomb blasts, that rocked Mumbai.

It was a touching moment for 15 families, who received a compensation of Rs two lakh each from the Congress-led Democratic Front government nearly a decade after the worst-ever communal flare up. Minister of state for food and civil supplies, Mohd Naseem Khan along with suburban collectors handed over cheques to families of missing persons in his chamber at Mantralaya recently. Salim, who collected the compensation on his brother’s behalf, said “der se aaye per kuch to madad hui (it came late, but it is of some help)”. Minister Mohd Naseem Khan, who played a key role in ensuring the compensation to legal heirs for missing persons, said “many legal hurdles, lack of documents and verifying the claims were responsible for the delay.” Khan, who was entrusted with this responsibility by Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, said the families of missing persons will get a cheque of Rs 30,000 while the remaining amount would be deposited in the post office. The minister said, the then Congress government had announced a compensation for families of nearly 155 missing persons. Earlier, the government had paid compensation to 47 persons, he said.

Khan said the DF government relaxed the norms laid down by the previous Congress dispensation, which would benefit nearly 40 more families. The Government Resolution of May 7, 2003 had relaxed the norms for more families to get the compensation, he added. There are many more riot-affected families of 92 –93 who have still not received any compensation inspite of completing all the formalities. 21-year-old Javed Ismail left home early morning on January 11, 1993 to bring milk from Shiv Sena Nagri, Sewree. He never came back. The police registered him as a Missing person.

In response to a habeas corpus petition by his mother (one of many such filed by advocate Niloufer Bhagwat on behalf of missing persons), Inspector Ingle of RAK Marg filed an affidavit saying that the police learnt later that Javed and Samoon Ahmed had been killed by a mob at Shiv Sena Nagari and their bodies burnt to ash in the Christian cemetery nearby. Bhagwat asked that the police issue a death certificate. They refused. In their judgment on October 7, 1993, Justices M. L. Pendse and M. F. Saldanha accepted the police’s offer that Inspector Ingle’s affidavit could be used as proof of Javed’s death. Javed’s mother is still to get the compensation.

Muniruddin (40) , Ansar Ali (20) and Zainullabideen (15) were picked up by the Deonar police from home on December 8, 1992, at 1.30 pm, their wife and mother told the Srikrishna Commission. That was the last time they saw them. On December 20, the police gave the women letters authorising them to identify their men from bodies kept in the morgue. They could not. Justice Srikrishna ordered that the women be granted the compensation due to the riot victims. They are yet to get it. As far back as July 1994, the Srikrishna Commission wrote to S Jambunathan, Additional Chief Secretary, Home, recommending that the government reconsider its policy not to grant compensation to families of persons officially reported missing during the riots, in the absence of proof of their death. The letter annexed a list of 12 missing persons whose families had deposed before the Commission and recommended that they be treated as riot-related deaths. In five cases, the police had later registered cases of murder. “The Srikrishna Commission feels this policy decision operates harshly and unjustly against families of missing persons, as, for no fault on their part, the family members will be pushed hard to establish that the missing persons are dead. At least in such of the cases which have been examined by the Commission and recommended for payment of compensation, the Commission feels there should be no hesitation in making the payment,” the letter said.

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News Community Roundup Editorial Readers Comments Men, Mission & Machine Update Investigation Choose Your Career Bouquets & Brickbats Face to Face From here & There Muslim Community Series:4 Children's Corner Quran Speaks to You Hadith Our Dialogue Islam n Universal Brotherhood Religion Living Islam Muslim Heritage Opinion Journey To Islam Thoughts on Life Acroos the Seas Matrimonial Jobs Archives Feedback Subscription Links Calendar Contact Us

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