’84 Riot Case Scam: Ludhiana Dc, Sdm In Dock


MaaPeya Da LaaDLa
Patiala division commissioner S.K. Ahluwalia, inquiring into the rejection of 1,200 cases of compensation for the 1984 Sikh riot victims, has put the Ludhiana deputy commissioner, along with an SDM and their three employees, in the dock for the mysterious rejection of hundreds of genuine cases and wrong approval to several fake and bogus claimants.
Disclosing a scandal unearthed in his inquiry conducted at the direction of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal over allegations of omission and commission in providing compensation to the victims, Ahluwalia told reporters that some people were virtually minting money from sufferings of thousands of 1984 Sikh riot victims.
More than 50 per cent of the 1,200 cases of riot victims of this district have been found to be fake in the special inquiry, putting a question mark on the claims of the Danga Peerat Welfare Association, who were spearheading their claims for compensation.
Ahluwalia has also suspended three employees of the DC office, superintendent Dalbir Gurjar, and clerks Rajesh and Resham Singh for allegedly rejecting many genuine claims or for approving wrong claims allegedly due to pressure of senior officers, politicians or after seeking gratification.
He told reporters that he has sought explanation from SDM Devinder Singh for the mysterious cuttings and over-writings on the case files. Both victims and the district administration, at loggerheads over the issue, have been thus made to eat the humble pie in the inquiry report.
The raging controversy over the “arbitrary rejection of these cases” and claims by the DC office that 90 per cent of the compensation claims were bogus had become a serious trouble for Chief Minster Parkash Singh Badal. He had announced in his manifesto that compensation would be paid to all the riot victims, who got the stick during the Congress rule.
CM Badal had deputed Ahluwalia to do a reality check on the controversy after the riot victims association and the district administration failed to resolve their issue. They have accused each other for the muddle. The victims said the district administration had wrongly rejected their claims, while the Ludhiana DC said that the claimants were bogus.
Ahluwalia told reporters in the presence of the riot victims and their leader Surjit Singh that both victims and the DC office staff were at fault here or there. “I am sending complete report to the Chief Minister, financial commissioner revenue and the chief secretary,” he said.
He visited houses of six alleged riot victims but found four of them never lived on the addresses given by them. On the perusal of the case files rejected or approved by the district administration, he found the decisions to approve or reject a case were taken arbitrarily with no reason given.
There were cases which were approved first and then rejected without giving any reasons. Then, there were some cases which were approved with a special mention that it is upheld at the behest of Surjit Singh, president, Danga Peerat Welfare Association.
Then there were cases where the employees rejected claims on the grounds that the claimants were minor at the time of riots. However, the same employees had passed cases of several other claimants who were minor at the time of riots in 1984-85.