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regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 April 2024

Government provides ex-gratia to kin of 4 deceased boys in North Dinajpur district

The cheques for Rs 2 lakh each were handed over to the families of the four at Chetanagach village by Surendra Kumar Meena, the district magistrate, in the presence of local MLA Hamidul Rehman and Islampur municipal chairman Kanaialal Agarwala

Kousik Sen Raiganj Published 24.02.24, 09:33 AM
Family members of the four minor boys with cheques for compensation at Chetanagach village near Chopra on Friday.

Family members of the four minor boys with cheques for compensation at Chetanagach village near Chopra on Friday. Kousik Sen

The North Dinajpur district administration on Friday handed over compensation to the families of four minor boys who had died in an accident near Chopra earlier this month.

The cheques for Rs 2 lakh each were handed over to the families of the four at Chetanagach village by Surendra Kumar Meena, the district magistrate, in the presence of local MLA Hamidul Rehman and Islampur municipal chairman Kanaialal Agarwala.

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On Thursday, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had announced that her government would give compensation to the bereaved families. Earlier, a compensation of Rs three lakh each had been handed over to the families on behalf of the Trinamul Congress.

Governor C.V. Ananda Bose, who had visited the village earlier this week, had announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each.

“The compensation was paid today (Friday), within 24 hours of the chief minister’s announcement,” said a source in the administration.

On February 12, when the work to deepen a trench was in progress at Chetanagach, a village near the India-Bangladesh border, the boys, who were aged between five and 12 years, were nearby. Suddenly, a mound of earth fell on them and they were buried alive.

After the incident, chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Trinamul blamed the BSF for the deaths. The BSF was negligent and apathetic towards the border population which led to the loss of four lives, they alleged.

Trinamul also resorted to protests and organised a sit-in demonstration in front of a local BSF camp, demanding that the BSF apologise to the bereaved families and pay them ex-gratia.

Agarwala, the chief of Trinamul-run Islampur municipality, said on Friday: “We will see what benefits they can be provided with under various social welfare schemes. However, it is disappointing that the BSF is silent on the issue. They haven’t bothered to meet the families so far and didn’t give compensation. It shows the apathy of the BSF and the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.”

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