Government Forms 2 Committees; Sikhs in Jamshedpur and Ranchi Protest

August 15, 2005 | Comments Off on Government Forms 2 Committees; Sikhs in Jamshedpur and Ranchi Protest

The government has constituted two committees to inquire into issues relating to relief and rehabilitation for the survivors of the November 1984 massacres of Sikhs.  One Committee, led by Special Secretary in the Home Ministry KP Singh, will inquire into the “adequacy and uniformity” of compensation.  It includes the Secretaries in charge of relief in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Chattishgarh and Uttaranchal, as well as representatives of the Finance Ministry. 

The second committee will inquire into “providing additional employment” to survivors and will be led by D.K. Shankaran, Secretary, Border Management in the Home Ministry.  The committee will include, among others, the Home Secretaries of states where mobs killed Sikhs, as well as Punjab, where survivors have resettled.  Union Home Secretary VK Duggal stated that he’s asked this committee to examine the possibility of relaxing the requirements for recruiting survivors into the paramilitary.  Hopefully, however, the government will provide wider opportunities of employment besides military options. 

Both committees have been given two months to complete their tasks. Mr. Duggal could not provide further information on probes to be instituted against accused politicians, such as Jagdish Tytler. 

Over 500 Sikhs in Jamshedpur and Ranchi protested in a silent march against the exclusion of the state Jharkhand in some of the rehabilitation recommendations made by the Nanavati report.  Although Sikhs throughout India were targed by death squads, the government commissions, such as the 1985 Misra Commission, have focused on Delhi, Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, and Bokaro in Bihar.  Relief measures have extended to a few more states:

President of Central Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee Shailendra Singh pointed out that a large number of families in different districts of the state, including Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Dhanbad, Chas, Hazaribagh and Bokaro, lost their family members and property during the riots.

The delegation also demanded the identification of people involved in violence against the Sikhs and ensure that they are suitably punished according to the constitution.

Survivors in Mohali, Punjab, provided the government with a list of demands for relief and rehabilitation:

These include residential accommodation for the victimised families and at least one source of income in the form of a commercial or industrial plots allotted either free of cost or at concessional rates.


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