Misa detainees to get monthly pension in Chhattisgarh

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By SHEENA K. in Raipur
  • Published 23.05.08

Raipur, May 23: Pensioners in Chhattisgarh will have another column in their fraternity — people arrested under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (Misa) during the Emergency.

After Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh government has decided to dole out a monthly pension to people who were put behind bars during the 1975 Emergency.

According to official sources, the cabinet gave an in-principle approval to the proposal. The scheme will be implemented after studying the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh models — both states launched the scheme this year. The officials said that the Misa detainees, who had spent over six months in jail, would be entitled to a pension of Rs 6,000, while those held for three to six months would get Rs 3,000 per month.

Only those persons, who served imprisonment for more than three months and did not ask for clemency, would be entitled for the monthly pension.

The government, however, does not have the exact figure of the persons who were booked under the MISA. A senior official with the home department said that the figure could be around 200 in the state. The department is compiling the figure and has sought information from Bhopal—the capital of undivided Madhya Pradesh, of which Chhattisgarh was a part before November 2000.

The scheme’s rough draft however does not make it clear if the detainees would be entitled for medical allowance also. “We have sought a copy of the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh scheme. After studying their policies, we will give final shape to our scheme,” the officials said.

The RSS, whose many leaders and cadre suffered repression during the Emergency, has reservations about the scheme. In Rajasthan, Sangh leaders have publicly opposed the scheme and said that the pension would be like asking for money in lieu of what they did for their motherland. The RSS leaders in Chhattisgarh, however, have no such reservations.

As a senior RSS leader puts it: “The Misa detainees have been coming to us and asking for pension. They even met the chief minister and pleaded to launch the scheme, which is finally going to take shape.”

There is no reason to oppose the scheme, the leader added.