Nearly two decades after the communal violence in Bhagalpur in Bihar, the Centre on Thursday announced a Rs 29.81 crore relief and rehabilitation package for the next of kin of those killed and injured in the riots.
The package was approved by the Union Cabinet at its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The announcement came in less than a month after the Centre came out with a similar package for the 2002 Gujarat riot victims.
Under the relief package for the Bhagalpur riot victims, an ex-gratia paymenent of Rs 3.5 lakh will be paid to the next of kin of each of the 844 persons killed in the 1989 communal violence, an official spokesman told media-persons after the meeting.
The spokesman said the relief amount would be in addition to what has been paid by the state government and added that this would entail an expenditure of Rs 29.54 crore to the exchequer. A sum of up to Rs 1.25 lakh would be given to 22 injured persons, but the amount would be adjusted against what has been paid by the state government.
This would entail an expenditure of Rs 26.99 lakh. The ex-gratia payment to the victims of communal riots in Bhagalpur would be at par with the package announced for victims of anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had earlier written to the prime minister asking for a relief package for the Bhagalpur riot victims at par with the relief given to the anti-Sikh riots.