On March 11 well known personalities like Farah Naqvi, Anjali Bhardwaj, Annie Raja, Harsh Mander, Apoorvanand, Anirban Bhattacharya and Amrita Johri wrote to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, urging him to increase the amount of compensation to people affected by the violence in Delhi. While appreciating the government’s recently released order date March 5 which decides compensation rates according to degree of damage, and recognizing floor-wise units for compensation of destroyed residential property, the appeal asks that the government take a few other factors in consideration while determining compensation.
Their suggestions have been meticulously put forth in a bullet form under headings of ex-gratia compensation, loss of moveable property, enhance damage to uninsured commercial property/ commercial articles, create additional categories, daily survival expenses, internal displacement and process of compensation disbursement.
The appeal suggests that while determining compensation factors like inflation and cost of living in Delhi should be taken into account and ex-gratia compensation be enhanced to Rs. 25 lakhs compared to the Rs. 10 lakhs currently being offered by the government. It also suggests that “Forms of sexual violence, recognized under the Indian penal code, including rape, assault or criminal force to outrage modesty or intent to disrobe, must be added to the categories of injury with a compensation amount of 5 lakhs. “
It further suggests that in the category of moveable property articles such as motorbikes, cars, auto rickshaws, cycles, sewing machines, rehdis (thelas) should be included. The appeal suggests that there should also be room for consideration of exceptional cases, and additionally, loss of employment opportunities and evicted tenants should be made eligible for compensation as their lives have also been affected due to violence in the capital.
The appeal also proposes that daily survival expenses should be provided to families who had to flee their homes as a result of the violence. The signatories also appeal to the government to recognize the category of internally displaced persons. Finally, it suggested that the process for disbursement of compensation should be time bound so that affected persons can benefit from the relief at the earliest and also that the claims submitted by the affected persons be digitized and uploaded on the government’s website to ensure transparency.
The letter may be read here.
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