CHANDIGARH: The detainees who were arrested and kept in a Jodhpur prison following the army operation to liberate the Golden Temple in 1984 will get some relief as Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has decided to hand over compensation money to them tomorrow, a government official said today.
The Chief Minister will distribute cheques totalling Rs 4.5 crore to 40 of the detainees here at a programme in the presence of all members of his cabinet, the spokesperson said.
The Chief Minister had recently written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and also spoken to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba on the matter.
He had said if the Centre failed to pay its share of the compensation then the state government will take over that liability too.
Earlier, the Chief Minister had also met the Jodhpur detainees, who were arrested and detained in the Jodhpur prison following Operation Bluestar in June 1984, and assured them of his government's full support.
The detainees had been suffering for the past several years for no fault of theirs, the Chief Minister had said, while pointing out that the Centre's decision to go in appeal had evoked a strong reaction amongst the Sikh community and was further likely to lead to a sense of alienation and perceived injustice among the community.
Around 300 people were arrested and detained in the Jodhpur jail in the wake of the Operation Bluestar and were later released in three batches, between March 1989 and July 1991.
Of these, 224 had appealed for compensation in the lower court, alleging wrongful detention and torture but they failed to get any relief from the court in 2011.
However, 40 of them went in appeal to the District and Sessions Court, Amritsar, and were awarded Rs 4 lakh each as compensation with 6 per cent interest (from the date of filing of the appeal to the payment of compensation) in April last year.
The total compensation, including interest, worked out to Rs 4.5 crore approximately, the chief minister pointed out.
The court had held the Union and the state governments jointly liable for payment of the compensation, and although the Punjab government had given an undertaking to the court to pay half the amount, the centre had moved an appeal in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the order, the spokesperson said.