Srinagar: The state government has released outstanding amount of Rs 3 lakh each to 31 families who were massacred by troopers of Border Security Forces at Bijbhera, Anantnag in 1993.
According to a government order, Rs 93 lakh have been ordered to be drawn by the Director Finance, Home Department to be deposited with Registrar Judicial High Court at Srinagar.
The order has been issued seven months after a division bench of the high court upheld its single bench order, directing government to pay Rs 4 lakh each to the 31 families.
The government has already paid Rs 1 lakh each to victims in compliance to the directions by the state’s highest court.
Disposing of an appeal filed by the state government on 1 September last year, the division bench had directed government to deposit Rs 93 lakhs with its registry within three months for onward disbursement among the victim families.
On 10 September 2007, the single bench had order government to pay compensation of Rs 4 lakh to each of the 31 victim families for death of their respective close relatives.
The single bench had passed the ordered on a petition filed by the 31 persons against the Government of India and the State Government with a contention that the incident which took place on 22 October 1993 at Bijbehara was due to unprovoked firing by the BSF.
“The issue as to whether the state Government can be saddled with the liability to pay the compensation or the central Government in such cases was considered by the division court on 11 August (2015) and it was held that (BSF) is to pay compensation to petitioner. However, respondents (state) cannot escape from liability to pay the compensation as it is at their instance that BSF has come to aid and assistance (it) for maintenance of law and order. (The state) therefore (is) to pay the compensation awarded, from Security Related Expenditure (SRE) provided by Central Government or in absence of availability of such funds to mobilize their source to pay compensation to the appellants (victim families),” the court had added.
About 2,000 to 3,000 people protesting against siege of Hazratbal shrine were marching on Srinagar-Jammu highway when the BSF troopers of 47 battalion deployed at Goriwan fired at them.
A case of murder and attempt to murder was filed against the troopers who were found guilty by a magisterial inquiry.
The inquiry report recommended dismissal of accused troopers, 11 of whom were identified
High court noted that BSF and police did not dispute inquiry finding that the troopers had fired without any provocation