Punjab gives compensation to 40 Jodhpur detenues, assures others

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Chandigarh, June 28 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday handed out cheques for the state’s share of the compensation money ordered to be paid to 40 Jodhpur detenues and assured of similar help to the remaining 325 detenues.

The Chief Minister handed over cheques totalling over Rs 2.16 crore as the state’s 50 per cent share in the approximately Rs 4.5 crore compensation announced by an Amritsar district court to the 40 detenues who had approached it for relief.

Amarinder Singh said those who did not move the court were also entitled to compensation and that his government will make similar payments to them too.

He expressed the confidence that the Centre would agree to his plea to contribute its share of compensation money to these 325 detenues.

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A total of 365 persons were arrested and lodged in Jodhpur jail in Rajasthan in the wake of Operation Blue Star in 1984. Known as the Jodhpur detainees, they were released in 1986. Nearly 100 of them have since died.

Of the 40 detenues who approached the court, seven passed away while the case was being heard.

Amarinder Singh also said that the state was prepared to release the full compensation amount to the 40 detainees but he was informed of the Centre’s decision to release its share.

“It is a small compensation for the pain they have undergone. We will also look into their demand for jobs for their children,” the Chief Minister said.

The detenues who went to court were awarded Rs 4 lakh each along with 6 per cent interest (from the date of filing of the appeal to payment of compensation) in April last year.

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The total compensation, including interest, works out to nearly Rs 4.5 crore.

While the Punjab government had given an undertaking in the court to pay half the amount, the central government had appealed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the impugned order.

–IANS

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