'Man-made disaster': Haryana seeks Rs 1,000 cr in aid following Jat quota violence
Chandigarh: Terming the violence witnessed during the Jat quota stir in February as a "man-made disaster", the Haryana government has now sought Rs.1,000 crore in assistance from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for the losses suffered by the public and government.
A government spokesman said that the Rs.1,000-crore relief has been sought for "so that appropriate compensation and relief can be provided to the victims of the 'man-made disaster' - the Jat reservation agitation, to help the state move ahead with the process of reconstruction and rehabilitation".
"The National Disaster Management Authority has been informed that in the month of February, 2016, substantial damage was caused to a large number of properties, both government and private during the unrest related to the Jat reservation agitation. Although most of the areas of the state were affected during the agitation, eight districts were the worst affected," he said.
The spokesman said that compensation claims for 2,077 private immovable properties worth Rs.555 crore have been received, while a large number of government properties and 300 private vehicles have been damaged. The actual assessment of the claims amount is being done by the district administrations along with survey experts in an expeditious manner, he added.
"The state government has provided assistance to the victims of this 'man-made disaster' by diverting funds from its own Plan budget, as an interim measure, to ensure that the affected victims, especially from the economically weaker sections, get some relief to restart their livelihoods. Till April 6, Rs 53.63 crore has already been disbursed by the state government to the victims as relief," he said.
The spokesman said that the NDMA was also informed "that extensive damage caused to properties during the agitation constitutes a man-made disaster that needs to be provided relief and rehabilitation under the National Disaster Management Act".
"The recent Jat reservation agitation, like other man-made disasters, caused tremendous damage to the innocent victims," the state government has pointed out to the NDMA.
The Manohar Lal Khattar government in the state on Friday set up a two-member Commission of Inquiry, comprising former chief justice S.N. Jha and former union secretary, security, N.C. Padhi, to look into the incidents of violence during the Jat agitation from February 18 to 23.
The commission will also inquire into the circumstances leading to the violence and the conspiracy behind the incidents.
While describing the incidents that occurred during the reservation agitation as "unfortunate", Khattar said that "it was a political conspiracy in the guise of reservation".
"The government was in favour of reservation and invited the community leaders for the same. Anti-social elements that were behind this agitation would not be spared. Inquiry is being conducted and about 400 people have been arrested. No action would be taken against the innocent," he said.
"We will deal strictly with those who would try to divide Haryana," he added.
(With IANS inputs)