Ranchi, May 12: The state has cleared all pending cases related to payment of compensation to families of security personnel and civilians who were killed or injured in extremist violence in Jharkhand.
As per a list issued by the state home department, the next of kin of 198 civilians have been paid a total of Rs 3.87 crore as on March 31, 2014.
Similarly, kin of 29 police and paramilitary personnel, including slain Pakur SP Amarjit Balihar and his five subordinates who were killed in a Maoist ambush on July 2 last year, have been given a total of Rs 4.92 crore as compensation.
“All cases related to payment of compensation, which were pending with the home department, have been cleared. However, we have written to all deputy commissioners (DCs) and superintendents of police (SPs) to send us any claims that may have remained unsettled at their end as on March 31, 2014, for whatever reasons. All such pending claims too will be settled within a definite time frame,” N.N. Pandey, principal secretary (home) told The Telegraph today.
On January 10 this year, Jharkhand High Court, hearing a PIL on the issue, directed the state government to settle all pending claims of compensation within a period of six months and not later than one year.
Sources pointed out that many claims had been pending with various district-level committees since 2001. In most cases, delays were owing to the lengthy and arduous process of identifying the next of kin.
As per guidelines issued by the central government, the task of identifying beneficiaries and verification of eligibility for assistance under the scheme is vested on a district level committee.
To be set up in each district, the team comprises the respective deputy commissioner, superintendent of police, district medical officer, district social welfare officer and district child and women development officer.
The committee needs to examine the FIR and police report, death-cum-post-mortem certificate, medical report in case of permanent disability and a host of other documents to determine if someone is eligible to receive compensation.
The district level committee then forwards it recommendations to the state home department, which, once satisfied that all formalities have been complied with, recommends release of payments to the beneficiaries.
Insiders claimed that compensation amounts might vary depending on the scheme prevailing on the date of the incident.
In 2001, the state government has issued a circular, providing for payment of Rs 50,000 to the next of kin of civilians killed or injured in Naxalite related incidents. In 2006, this sum was raised to Rs 1 lakh.
In 2011, a central government circular stated that the kin of Maoist attack victims would be eligible to receive an additional financial assistance of Rs 3 lakhs with retrospective effect from June 22, 2009. The amount is to be paid by the state government, which will be reimbursed by the Centre.
On the other hand, employees of the central government, central PSUs, autonomous institutions and other government organisations of the state killed in Maoist violence are eligible for a cash compensation of Rs 10 lakh. Besides, the salary that would have been payable to the employee throughout the remaining period of his service life would be paid to the next of kin.
The Maoist-related incidents in the state has been going down. Statistics reveal that the number of incidents involving extremist violence stood at 504 in 2011, which dropped to 404 in 2012 and 349 in 2013. Up to March 31, 2014 the number of Maoist related incidents stood at 35.