London: After a prolonged campaign, UK`s
David Cameron government has agreed to the demand to
financially compensate British victims of terror attacks in
Mumbai and other places abroad since 2002.
The official compensation scheme was so far applicable
only to victims of terror attacks that occurred within the UK,
such as the London bombings in July 2005.
After Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke announced the
change of policy in the House of Commons last night, over 300
British victims of terror attacks abroad are now likely to
receive compensation, including British victims of the Mumbai
attacks of 2008.
Clarke said that all those affected by terrorist attacks
since 2002 will be eligible for support from April 2013, as
part of changes in help for victims of crime.
The Labour party welcomed the move but said it was
"shameful" that the change of policy had taken so long.
There were reportedly eight British victims in the Mumbai
terror attacks, including Will Pike, who fell 50 feet while
escaping from his room in the Taj Hotel.
Millionnaire Andreas Liveras suffered gunshot wounds in
the Taj and later died in hospital.
Pike`s spinal cord was injured when he fell from his room
window, and since then has only limited sensation and
functionality below the waist. Pike is unlikely to be able to
Pike family and friends led a sustained campaign to
change policy to allow British victims of terror attacks
abroad to seek compensation from the government. The move to
change the policy had all-party support.
Pike launched a `Will Pike Mumbai Appeal` online to raise
2 million pounds to meet "a myriad of lifetime needs and costs
associated with spinal injuries".
Expenses include housing needs, adapted bathroom
facilities, access issues, loss of earnings, loss of quality
of life, on-going care cover when necessary, mobility aids and
In future, Clarke said British victims abroad would have
"exactly the same" access to compensation than those involved
in domestic incidents through the Criminal Injuries
From next year, those affected by incidents abroad in the
past ten years could apply for retrospective financial
Clarke said: "I believe it is important that victims of
terrorist attacks abroad should, in future, be able to qualify
for compensation on a similar basis to victims of domestic
terrorism. We are still imposing some limitations on claims
but this is an enormous advance on a situation where
previously nothing was being done."
Other victims of the Mumbai attacks include Sajjad Karim,
Member of the European Parliament (MEP), and Roger Hunt, who
spent a traumatic 43 hours in a room in the Oberoi Hotel.
Hunt, who was rescued by Indian commandos, wrote a
graphic account of his ordeal in a book titled `Be Silent Or