The families of several BJP workers killed in terrorist attacks in Kashmir have alleged discrimination in compensation by the government. They have demanded parity in compensation between the leaders belonging to different religions who were killed in the terrorist attacks. The Kashmir BJP spokesman has also supported the claim of these families.
According to the BJP, 23 party workers have been killed by terrorists in the last two years. One of them a Kashmiri Pandit, Rakesh Pandita was killed in June this year.
Pandita was a BJP municipal councilor in Pulwama. When he fell to terrorist's bullets in June this year, the Lt Governor Manoj Sinha visited the family and sanctioned a compensation of Rs 40 lakh.
Today visited the family of Municipal Councillor Sh. Rakesh Pandita, who was killed by terrorists in Tral,Pulwama on June 2; Sanctioned ex gratia amount of Rs 40 lakhs to family members of Late Sh. Pandita.The entire JK administration stands with the family in this hour of grief. pic.twitter.com/xiXvNb9wRM— Office of LG J&K (@OfficeOfLGJandK) June 12, 2021
But in the case of Sajad Ahmad Khanday, a BJP Sarpanch killed by terrorists in August last year, the family has got only Rs five lakh as compensation.
"My father was a BJP sarpanch who was killed on August 6 in terrorist attack. In Pulwama, Rakesh Pandita was also killed in terrorist attack. Government gave him a compensation of Rs 40 lakh. We want to tell government that they are differentiating between Hindus and Muslims," said Sahil Sajad Khanday, son of the killed BJP Sarpanch.
The local BJP has asked the Union Territory administration to remain fair and ensure parity in compensation to victims of terrorism.
"There is discrimination. Some people have got Rs 40 lakh as compensation and our workers who were killed by terrorists have got just one lakh from Red Cross. We urge the administration to ensure equality" said Altaf Thakur, BJP Spokesman.
J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha told NDTV that he will look into the issue when asked about the selective compensation to victims of terrorism in Kashmir.
"Some unfortunate incidents have happened. Administration have taken a decision that the elected representative would get money under an insurance cover and in other incidents, government provides help to them. The issue you have raised would be looked into"
In October last year, BJP youth leader Fida Hussain was preparing to celebrate the first birthday of her daughter Rahiba when he along with two other BJP workers were gunned down by terrorists.
Since then, his wife Shagufta has been struggling to make ends meet.
When the attack happened, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself condemned it and sympathised with the families.
I condemn the killing of 3 of our young Karyakartas. They were bright youngsters doing excellent work in J&K. My thoughts are with their families in this time of grief. May their souls rest in peace. https://t.co/uSfsUP3n3W— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 29, 2020
But a year later, Hussain's family says it have not received any help from the government . The only help, they say, they have got so far is Rs one lakh from the Red Cross.
"It's going to be one year on October 29. So far, we have not received anything. Only Red Cross has given Rs 1 lakh to the child. Nothing beyond that. If they process my SRO (job) case, I want only that so that I can take care of my daughter" said Shagufta Sayed, window of Hussain.
Hussain was the only son and his parents'. Their lives have changed after the terrorist attack. They are also questioning the alleged discrimination.
"Since February, we are visiting DCs office. It's sad. We are in pain, and they are accentuating our pain in these offices. It's fine that they gave compensation to Pandit, they should also give us the same compensation" said Gul Mohammad, the father of the killed BJP worker.
Officials say in case of the two municipal councillors, Reyaz Ahmad and Shamusudin, who were killed by terrorists in Sopore in March, they have been given Rs 25 lakh each. A senior officer said a compensation of Rs 25 lakh, and a government job was also provided to family of Ajay Panita, a Congress Sarpanch killed in June last year.