BELAGAVI: The family members of several government employees, who died of Covid-19 while on election duty during the byelection to Belagavi Parliamentary seat in April, have demanded compensation akin to the relief provided by the Uttar Pradesh government. The next of kin of Covid victims have submitted a memorandum to the government demanding ex-gratia.
“Despite surge in Covid-19 cases in April and May, thousands of government employees in Karnataka, including employees of unaided and aided schools and colleges, were put on election duty as per the government order regardless of the danger posed to their lives,’’ read the memorandum. Referring to a letter by Deputy Commissioner of Belagavi to Election Commission, the memorandum said, “Of the 39 proposals received, only eight were recommended for compensation from Belagavi.”
A large number of employees contracted the virus while discharging election duty and many of them died, said Balachandra Jabshetti, who lost his wife, who was a teacher, to election duty. Jabshetti said, “It is surprising that, one one hand the DC claims lack of guidelines for awarding compensation and on the other, he recommends eight proposals for compensation. Will it not amount to discrimination?” he questioned. The UP government extended ex-gratia of Rs 30 lakh to the kin of government employees who succumbed to Covid on duty during the panchayat elections.