Kashmir Indepth

Sarpanch killed during Back to Village programme paid just Rs 1 lakh compensation’, family hold sit-in protest

Raouf Dar

Anantnag, June 14(KINS): Alleging discrimination in granting compensation to sarpanches who allegedly fall to the bullets of militants, a family from Anantnag south Kashmir Saturday evening held a silent sit-in at office of Sub Divisional Magistrate Dooru Anantnag.

Sarpanch Rafi Ahmad was killed on 26 November 2019 during a “back-to-village 2” programme in south Kashmir’s Anantnag. However, as per family, they were paid just Rs one lakh as compensation.

The J&K administration handed over 20 lakh to the family of sarpanch Ajay Pandita Bharti, who was killed by militants on June 8, this year.”My husband (Rafi) was killed in line of duty. He was part of back to Village programme when militants attacked the team.

After his death, no official visited us or tried to console and help us in any manner,” said Rubi, wife of the deceased.Rubi according to news agency Kashmir indepth news service (KINS), said that she was happy to see the family of Ajay Pandita Bharti were paid Rs 20 lakh.”It is really a good step.

I can understand the pain and grief of the victim family. Bharti was also our brother. But I am here to protest failure of authorities to reach out to us and address our grievance. The both sarpanches belonged to same party, same district and held same designation,” she said, adding, “There must be no discrimination in granting the compensation to victim families.”  

Rubi said that the deceased, besides her, is survived by old aged parents and minor children.”I am unable to meet the expenses of children. I am not able to provide them education and food. The aged parents of the deceased (Rafi) are not able to purchase life saving drugs. This is our plight after his death,” she said while breaking down.The family demanded adequate compensation and government job to the next kin of deceased.

SDM Dooru Gulam Rasool confirmed to  KINS that the family of Rafi was paid one lakh compensation and family of Bharti Rs 20 lakh.Meanwhile, various panch and sarpanch associations have asked government to come clear on the policy.”We are not going to tolerate this indiscrimination.

All victim families must be treated equally. We are waiting a word from the government, failing which we will chalk out future strategy,” they said.(KINS)

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