The Ministry of Minority Affairs on Thursday informed Lok Sabha that the Centre has introduced a rehabilitation package to provide relief to the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Giving further details of the relief package, the Minority Affairs Ministry said that the scheme contained an ex-gratia payment of Rs 3.5 lakh for each death case and Rs 1.25 lakh in case of injuries.
“The scheme also contained a provision for the State governments to grant pension to widows and old aged parents of death victims at the uniform rate of Rs 2500/month, for whole life. The expenditure on payment of pension was to be borne by the State government,” the ministry added.
However, the compensation was enhanced in 2014 by the Modi government to Rs 5 lakh from earlier 3.5 lakh per deceased, who died during the ’84 anti-Sikh riots.
“The Central government had in 2014 introduced a scheme for grant of enhanced relief of Rs 5 lakh per deceased, who died during the ’84 anti-Sikh riots. “In Union Budget 2021-22, provision of Rs 4.5 cr made for payment of enhanced compensation to next of kin of deceased of ’84 riots,” it said.
“For payment of enhanced ex-gratia amount, the States/UTs would disburse the money from their own funds and Ministry of Home Affairs would reimburse the amount to the concerned State/UT Government on receipt of utilization certificate,” the ministry added.
The 1984 anti-Sikh riots, also known as the 1984 Sikh Massacre, was a series of organised pogroms against Sikhs in India following the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. As the 1984 anti-Sikh riots continued for several days, around 3,000 Sikhs were killed in New Delhi, with unofficial estimates and countrywide figures being much higher.
Not only this, due to these riots, over 50,000 people from the Sikh community were displaced. In the National Capital, some of the worst affected areas due to riots were Sultanpuri, Mangolpurim and Trilokpuri. Remarking on the riots in its aftermath, the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had made his infamous ‘when a big tree falls, the earth shakes’ remark.