Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Maya has money for statues, not for slain jawans

Courtesy: Mail Today

Aman Sharma
New Delhi, April 13, 2010

But the Uttar Pradesh chief minister has no money for the families of the 42 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men from her state who died fighting the Maoists in Dantewada on April 6.

The CRPF officers are seething after Mayawati also failed to be present at the Lucknow airport when the bodies of the slain jawans were brought from Chhattisgarh on Thursday.

Akhilesh Yadav, son of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, was present on the occasion. One of the deceased was the son of his personal security officer.

While Haryana, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu announced compensations ranging from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for the families of the jawans hailing from their states, Mayawati has not shown keenness to do so.

A majority of the jawans who died in the attack were from Uttar Pradesh.

"To my knowledge, there is no proposal of the UP government giving any compensation to the families of the slain CRPF men," state home secretary Mahesh Gupta said.

CRPF officers said this was insensitive.

"It is generally a compassionate step by the home state of a CRPF jawan dying in action to give his family some help in the form of money, job or honour. It should have been a proud occasion for Mayawati to acknowledge the sacrifice of the 42 jawans from her state and announce compensation for their families," a CRPF officer said. "But we have been told she is not interested in giving any money to the families." In comparison, Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has

announced Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the seven jawans from his state. Tamil Nadu has announced Rs 5 lakh each to the families of three jawans.

On Monday, Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda announced jobs for widows of the two deceased CRPF men who hailed from the state and Rs 25 lakh each to the villages of the jawans for development work. He also visited the bereaved families.

In contrast, Mayawati has not visited any of the UP jawans' families, a CRPF officer said.

Another officer said she was not keen to give compensation as she would have to pay a sizeable amount - maybe in excess of Rs 1 crore.

The UP government has done this before. "Last year, 12 CRPF men killed in Maoistrelated violence were from UP but Mayawati gave their families nothing," an officer said.

Home minister P. Chidambaram has, however, assured that by the monthend, the families of all the 75 CRPF men would get Rs 38.6 lakh as relief from the Centre and the Chhattisgarh government and a job to one eligible member in the deceased jawan's family.

The home ministry is also considering a proposal from the CRPF that its men killed in action be accorded "martyr" status as in the armed forces. " If that happens, the home state would be obliged to compensate the families of the deceased," an official said.

According to the home ministry official, Mayawati offers the least compensation compared to all Maoist-affected states to paramilitary men if they die in action in UP. "The government pays Rs 90,000 to the family of a CRPF jawan who dies in action in UP. But Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Jharkhand pay Rs 13 lakh, which includes a group insurance worth Rs 10 lakh, whose premium is footed by the state government. Bihar pays Rs 2.5 lakh while Andhra Pradesh pays Rs 7.5 lakh," a source said.

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