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Despite HC direction, Govt fails to compensate victims of Tosa Maidan firing range
9/6/2018 10:09:13 PM
Saahil Suhail
Early Times Report
Srinagar, Sept 6: Jammu and Kashmir Government has failed to compensate victims of Tosa Maidan firing range despite clear directions from High Court.
Last year hearing a Public Interest Litigation, The Division Bench of High Court had issued notice to Union and State Governments and directed them to provide compensation to affected families of Tosa Maidan firing range but information provided to RTI activist Er Irfan Banka revealed that victims had not been compensated.
Last month Deputy Commissioner Budgam had written to Secretary to Government, Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction and sought guidance/ instructions for compensating the victims.
"Different organizations and NGO groups are approaching this office through different modes (RTI etc) asking this office as to why compensation isn't being provided to the victims of field firing range. Since the field firing range victims aren't covered under any provisions of government orders/SRO/ notification etc. therefore no compensation was paid to any filed firing range victims till date. Now therefore it is requested that this office may kindly be guided/instructed as to how relief may be provided to the victims," reads DC Budgam's letter [DCB/relief/TM/2018/341-42 Dated 08-08-2018]
RTI activist Er Irfan Banka told Early Times, that High Court had directed state government last year directed the government to compensate the victims in terms of SRO 183 dated 19-04-2017 after proper enquiry but the authorities continue to seek instructions instead of checking out SRO 183.
"The information provided by the PIO is incomplete and we are filing first appeal in this regard." he added.
Sheikh Maqbool who is Spokesperson J&K RTI Foundation said, "The people of the meadow are still waiting for compensation. Financial support to the victims will at least help them to arrange their lives in dignified way ".
Due to the field firing and artillery practice carried out by Army from 1965 to 2014 in and around Tosa Maidan, numbers of innocent people have died and suffered injuries but none among them has been compensated so far.
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