The Devendra Fadnavis led Maharashtra government on Wednesday announced a Rs 10,000 monthly pension for those jailed during the emergency, The Hindu has reported. In case one was jailed for less than a month, they would be eligible for a Rs 5,000 monthly pension.
Additionally, the wives of those jailed for more than a month would receive Rs 5,000 and in the other case, they would receive Rs 2,000. As per a PTI report, the scheme would also extend to the widows of those jailed during the 21 month period from 1975 to 1977.
As per an Asian Age report, the pension would be granted to those arrested and jailed for more than a month during emergency imposed by the Indira Gandhi led Congress government in the 70s. All the agitators were arrested in the 1970s under the draconian Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) act while protesting against the lack of democracy.
This announcement was made following the approval by a three-member ministerial group which has been empowered to take decisions in the Chief Minister’s absence. About a month earlier this proposal was cleared by the Maharashtra cabinet.
As per Relief and Rehabilitation minister Chandrakant Patil, guidelines have been set up with regards to the pension disbursement, which would be revealed in the future.
We had reported back in December that the Maharashtra government was planning to bring in this welfare scheme following similar implementations by other states like Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. For example, the Madhya Pradesh government pays an honorarium about Rs 25,000 per month.
Incidentally, the Congress party has criticised this decision by the Maharashtra government by stating that it was an insult to freedom fighters if emergency detainees are accorded the same status and respect as them.