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LIC to clear poet's dues next week

Jan. 12: Insurance major Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has assured the family of its city-based employee Abani Chakraborty, who went missing 10 years back, to clear his dues within a week.

'We are trying our best to finish within a week the necessary paperwork for immediate release of all pending dues of the missing employee,' said Dhrubananda Das, senior divisional manager of LIC.

Das' assurance comes in wake of last week's threats by Chakraborty's family that they were seriously contemplating moving court and human rights commission saying they had waited far too long for his dues.

Describing the case as a 'peculiar' one, the senior divisional manager went on to add, 'Look, this is not a straight case since nobody knows what happened to the employee. Dues are cleared only when one has retired, resigned or is dead. To presume that a person is dead we need to wait for sometime. Now that we have waited for a reasonable time in Chakraborty's case, we can presume that he is died.'

Chakraborty, a leading Assamese poet, left home for his evening stroll on November 12, 1994, never to return. The very next day family members lodged an FIR at the Latasil police station regarding the poet's disappearance and simultaneously informed the corporation. Chakraborty was removed from his job in 1996 and in 2002, the family submitted the presumption of death certificate as demanded by the corporation. This year, on January 3, the family and friends of the poet gathered at the Gallery Artists Guild to celebrate his 62nd birthday. During the memorial the family and the poet's admirers once again appealed to the LIC to clear all his dues.

The corporation, Das said, had received orders from the central office in November to process Chakraborty's papers and calculate his dues from the day he was removed from service. The termination papers, however, never reached the family.

'We had sent his termination papers through post,' Das said. The Chakraborty family, however, claims that they had not received any paper and had moved the corporation from time to time with copies of the FIR and other prayers.

The LIC officer added, 'LIC has no rule to recruit any family member of a missing person. Only death cases are considered for employment on compassionate ground.'

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