Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

Ex gratia plan for political clashes in Bengal

Trinamul has claimed that 10 of its supporters died in the past three weeks

By Pranesh Sarkar in Calcutta
  • Published 24.06.19, 2:17 AM
  • Updated 24.06.19, 2:17 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Soon after coming to power in 2011, Mamata Banerjee had announced additional compensation to victims of Maoist attacks. Telegraph file picture

The Mamata Banerjee government has decided to frame a policy to provide compensation to the next of kin of people killed in political violence in Bengal, the move coming at a time turf wars between the Trinamul Congress and the BJP have intensified in the state.

Trinamul has claimed that 10 of its supporters died in the past three weeks.

“The government is working on the policy. A sum of Rs 2 lakh is proposed to be given to the next of kin of any victim of political clashes,” said a senior government official.

So far, the state has policies to give compensation to the victims of natural calamities and accidents. Besides, the Centre has a policy to give compensation to the victims of Maoist and terrorist attack and communal violence.

Soon after coming to power in 2011, Mamata had announced additional compensation to victims of Maoist attacks.

“As per the Centre’s policy, a victim of Maoist attack was eligible to get Rs 3 lakh, but the chief minister announced another Rs 2 lakh from the state exchequer. But compensation for the victims of political violence was never taken into consideration until frequent clashes created trouble for the ruling party in the past one month or so,” said a government official.

Trinamul insiders said the move was timely as the ruling party leaders were facing questions after about 10 party workers were killed in clashes with the BJP in the past few days.

“The grassroots workers were asking why the families of the victims would not get anything, particularly after the government had given compensation to the victims of hooch tragedies,” said a Trinamul leader.

A section of officials at Nabanna claimed that the move to give compensation to the victims of political clashes had links to recent advisories issued by the Union home ministry to the Bengal government.

The ministry sought a report from Bengal on measures taken to prevent political clashes and bring culprits to book.

The Centre said the number of victims of political clashes rose from 36 in 2016 to 96 in 2018 and 26 deaths had already been reported in the first six months of 2019.

Sources said the state government was yet to send a reply to the advisory to counter the number of victims mentioned by the Centre.

“We are still assessing whether the figures were correct. But the figures are uncomfortable for the state. We can mention the compensation policy, in addition to other administrative measures to prevent political clashes in the reply to the advisory,” said a source.