MANGALORE: Members of the Kerala Pravasi Sangam (KPS) staged a day-long hunger strike in Lalbagh on Wednesday protesting against the delay in disbursal of compensation to the families of victims of Air India IX 812 flight crash.
Speaking on the occasion, KPS president P K Abu said, “As per law, the Air India failed to compensate the families of victims. The efforts of the family members to secure fair compensation did not yield any results due to Air India’s apathy.”
He said the protest would take an intense form if the compensation was not disbursed at the earliest. “The aviation company should not cheat families, who relied on the air services,” he added.
MLA from Guruvayur constituency in Kerala K V Abdul Khader said the family members were eligible to get compensation as per rules. But the AI was ignoring the Montreal Convention and denying compensation to the families. He said it was the AI’s responsibility to disburse compensation immediately after the air crash.
The two-year-long delay in providing compensation revealed the airlines’ disregard for the victims, he added.
MLA from Uduma constituency in Kerala Kunhiraman said, “The Centre’s negligence resulted in the delay of disbursing the compensation. The Union government and the Air India should respect the sentiments of the family members, who lost their near ones.”
CPM state secretariat member B Madhava urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene and solve the issue. The protestors were supported by the Democratic Youth Federation of India and the CPM units of Dakshina Kannada district.