Anti-Sikh riots: CM distributes cheques, victims demand justice

The families of the victims said they are still waiting for justice and that seeing the guilty being punished would be their real compensation.

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday distributed compensation cheques to families of 1,300 people killed in 1984 anti-Sikh riots on the 31st anniversary of the carnage even as the victims' kin asserted that they wanted justice more than anything.

Kejriwal accompanied by his deputy Manish Sisodia distributed the enhanced compensation cheques of Rs 5 lakh each in West Delhi's Tilak Vihar area to the families of the people killed in the riots that rocked Delhi in the aftermath of assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The families, however, said they are still waiting for justice and that seeing the guilty being punished would be their real compensation.

"It is good that government has taken some initiative but three decades have passed since then, money can't remove the memories of seeing your loved ones being burnt in front of your eyes. Punishing guilty is more important," said Kartar Singh, who lost his father in the riots.

Wheelchair bound 75-year-old Kantra Rani, who lost her two sons in the riots, broke down while waiting in queue to get her compensation cheque and said, "for the past 31 years we have been living on a fragile hope of getting justice. What happened was barbaric. I lost my innocent sons. God will punish those who are guilty".

The Deputy Chief Minister informed that 1,300 families whose verification and other required formalities were completed were given the cheques today and the rest will be handed over their compensation cheques within 15 days.

In October last year, a hike in compensation to Rs five lakh had been announced by the central government, five months after the BJP had formed its government at the Centre.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had, in December last year, distributed enhanced compensation cheques of Rs 5 lakh each to the 17 kin of riot victims in West Delhi's Tilak Vihar area.

According to sources, so far, around 143 kin of victims of the anti-Sikh riots had been disbursed enhanced compensation cheques.

In August this year, the Delhi Cabinet had decided to distribute enhanced compensation cheques as announced by the central government to the kin of the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims.

Delhi Government has estimated an expenditure of around Rs 130 crore on compensation for around 2,600 families of ant-Sikh riot victims. The Centre will later refund the compensation amount to the Delhi Government. 

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