Chandigarh, June 26: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced on Monday that the state government will pay the full compensation of Rs 4.5 crore to the Jodhpur detainees in case the Centre fails to pay its share. Also Read - 'Khattar is a Liar': Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Lashes Out Over Remarks on Farmer Protests
The Chief Minister urged Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba over the phone to resolve the matter as soon as possible. Both the Centre and the state have to jointly pay the compensation amount as per the court order. The prisoners were arrested and detained following the ‘Operation Blue Star’ in 1984. Also Read - Delhi Chalo: Rahul Gandhi Backs Protesting Farmers, Says Modi Govt Will Have To Take Back 'The Black Law'
A statement reportedly said that the Chief Minister was hopeful that the Centre would provide 50 per cent compensation awarded by Amritsar district court to the detainees. However, Amarinder Singh expressed, “If, for any reason, the Union Government fails to pay its share the state government would take over the entire liability and ensure that the detainees get much-delayed justice.” Also Read - Delhi Chalo: ‘Stop Inciting Innocent Farmers,’ Khattar Govt’s Word of Warning to Punjab CM
Amarinder Singh reportedly had planned to take up the issue to the Home Secretary and demand the Centre for compensation due to the absence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Addressing the cause of the detainees had suffered for no fault of theirs, the Chief Minister demanded, “The Centre should immediately withdraw its appeal in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the compensation.” Between March 1989 and July 1991, the detainees were released in three batches. Since the incident has evoked a strong reaction from the Sikh community, the CM had earlier warned, “It is further likely to lead to an avoidable sense of alienation and perceived injustice among the community.”
At least 300 persons were when the incident occurred. Out of the 300 persons who were detained at the Jodhpur jail back then, 224 detainees appealed for compensation in the lower courts. They did not get any compensation for their sufferings. Therefore 40 of them appealed to the District and Sessions Court in Amritsar. The Amritsar district court awarded a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each with 6 per cent interest (from the date the appeal was filed) on May 2017.
(With input from IANS)