SRINAGAR: The state government on Friday accorded sanction to the payment of Rs five lakh each as special ex-gratia to the families of seven youths killed during 2010 unrest, five months after the J&K high court held that the state was duty-bound to pay it.
According to an order by Principal Secretary Home, R K Goyal, the special ex-gratia has been released in favour of the families of Manzoor Ahmad Sofi of Yakmanpora Pattan, Wamiq Farooq of Rainawari, Zahid Farooq of Sheikh Mohalla Brain Nishat, Zubair Ahmad Bhat of Zami Qadeem Sopore, Mehraj-ud-Din Lone Barthana Sopore and Bashir Ahmad Bhat of Kadipora Anantnag.
“The sanction is subject to fulfillment of all the codal formalities and other government instructions,” Goyal said in the order.
The Deputy Commissioners concerned, he said, shall make the payment out of the funds placed at their disposal through the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir under ‘Relief and Rehabilitation’ for the current financial year 2015-16.
On February 2 this year, the high court has reminded the state that it was duty-bound to pay ex-gratia to the kith and kin of youth killed in 2010 unrest. The observation was made by the court after India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) cited financial implications in payment of the ex-gratia amount to the seven families which were left out earlier.
The MHA had said that it was examining the matter in consultation with the Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure.
“Since the State Government had made the recommendation in respect of particular number of families, who were to be paid the compensation amount, further funds are not available at this stage.”
It was for this reason, the MHA had said, that the matter has been taken up with the Ministry of Finance.
In June 2013, the court had directed government to provide ex-gratia relief to kith and kin of all those persons killed in “civil disturbance” during 2010 instead of restricting it to deaths between June 11 and September 25.
The direction was passed by the court after perusal of a status report filed by the state’s Home Department, giving the status of 116 out 117 deaths pointed out by the JKLF. One case has been counted twice by the petitioner, the government had said.
“In the report it has been clarified that out of 116 claimants (for grant of ex-gratia), the claim (Rs 5 lakh each) has been disbursed to 105 persons, and only the cases of 11 persons have been excepted for the reason that kith and kin were not killed in the civil disturbances before June 11 to September 25 2010,” the bench had observed.
“The exclusion of persons from January to December 2010 (except June 11 to 25 September) would not be sustainable because there is no reasonable nexus with the object sought to be achieved by fixing a cut of date of June to September 2010,” the court had said, underling that the ‘civil disturbances’ were reported throughout the year.
“However, it would not be mean that those cases would also receive consideration who have died due to the reason other than the civil disturbances,” the court had said and asked the government to segregate cases where deaths are not attributable to ‘civil disturbances’.
“Once the state government writes to central government for grant of ex-gratia to the deserving persons, then the same shall be accepted and suitable grant shall be released,” the court had said.
Later, seven cases were identified by the state which according to it falls in the category of those families which are to be paid ex-gratia.
Rs 5 lakh as ex-gratia to the victim families was announced by the Government of India following the visit of an all-party delegation to Valley in September 2010. It was part of an eight-point Kashmir formula to deal with the civil unrest in the Valley.