Slain jawan's family shuns govt cheque
Patna: Family members of CRPF jawan Mujahid Khan, who died fighting militants in Jammu on Monday, have refused to accept a cheque of Rs 5 lakh as ex-gratia from the Bihar government.
Mujahid's eldest brother Chand Khan, who arrived at the family home at Piro in Bhojpur district from Dubai on Wednesday, said the money was not adequate. "I fail to fathom why there is discrimination in payment of ex-gratia," Chand said.
The relatives of Indian Army gunner Kishore Kumar Munna, who was injured in Pakistani shelling on the Line of Control in Kashmir on February 4 and died on February 11, were given Rs 11 lakh by the state government in Khagaria on Tuesday.
"As per the provisions of the state government, the next of kin of a slain paramilitary force jawan is to be paid ex-gratia of only Rs 5 lakh," said Bhojpur district magistrate (DM) Sanjeev Kumar. "So we approached the family of the martyred CRPF constable with the same amount, which the family members are not ready to accept."
The DM said he had already apprised top state government officials. "We are awaiting the government's instruction. Once it is cleared, then the amount will be paid to the family," DM Sanjeev said soon after he met Mujahid's relatives at Piro, around 90km southwest of Patna.
Mujahid was buried at the village on Wednesday. His close relatives are livid at the state government - not just because of the money.
"Neither any minister nor any legislator of the ruling alliance bothered to pay tribute to the 25-year-old who lost his life fighting terrorists," said Mohammad Imtiyaz Khan, an elder brother of Mujahid. "He was not killed while taking on liquor smugglers, he embraced death for the country."
Earlier, Bhojpur deputy development commissioner Shashank Shubhankar and Piro sub-divisional officer Sunil Kumar tried to convince Mujahid's family members to accept the cheque of Rs 5 lakh from the district soldiers' welfare fund. When the family members refused, DM Sanjeev met them and pacified them.
In addition to an adequate amount, the family members have demanded pension for Mujahid's mother, and a government job for one family member.
"I will look into the matter," said mines and geology minister Vinod Kumar Singh, who is also the minister in-charge of Bhojpur district. "Right now I am on tour of my Assembly constituency."
A host of RJD and other Opposition party leaders, including Ara MLA Mohammad Nawaz Alam, Jagdishpur MLA Ram Vishun Singh, Tarari MLA Sudama Prasad and MLC Radha Charan Seth, laid wreaths on Mujahid's coffin at his burial. Slogans like "Pakistan murdabad" rent the air. The body was buried with full police honour.