Punjab to give compensation to Jodhpur detenues

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Chandigarh, June 27 (IANS) With the Central government not committing itself on compensating the Jodhpur detenues, the Punjab government announced on Wednesday that it will release its share of compensation to them.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will on Thursday hand over cheques of the state’s share of the Rs 4.5 crore compensation awarded to the detenues by the Amritsar district court, an official said.

The Chief Minister had on Monday said that his government will pay full compensation amount of Rs 4.5 crore to the Jodhpur detenues if the Centre fails to give its share. He had also urged the Central government to withdraw its appeal in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the compensation and said he had written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in this regard.

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A total of 375 persons were arrested and detained in the Jodhpur prison following Operation Blue Star in June 1984. Some of them languished there for years and were later released in three batches, between March 1989 and July 1991.

Of these, 224 detainees had appealed for compensation in the lower court, alleging “wrongful detention and torture” but they failed to get any relief in 2011.

Out of these, 40 of the detainees went in appeal to the District and Sessions Court, Amritsar, and were awarded Rs 4 lakh each as compensation with 6 per cent interest (from the date of filing of the appeal to payment of compensation) in April last year.The total compensation, including interest, worked out to nearly Rs 4.5 crore.

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While the Punjab government had given an undertaking to the court to pay half the amount, the Central government had moved an appeal in the high court against the order.

–IANS

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