The first case of Chinese coronavirus was reported in national capital on 2nd March 2020. Days later, nationwide lockdown was announced in a bid to curb the spread of pandemic. Amidst all this, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that Delhi government will give Rs 1 crore ex-gratia to families of those COVID warriors who lose their lives in line of duty.
If anyone loses their life while serving any #COVID19 patient, be it sanitation workers, doctors or nurses or any other staff, temporary or permanent, from private or government sector, their family will be given Rs 1 crore as our mark of respect for their service.— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 1, 2020
Delhi Chief Minister had claimed that his government will pay Rs 1 crore to anyone who loses their life while serving any coronavirus patient. “Be it sanitation workers, doctors or nurses or any other staff, temporary or permanent, from private or government sector”, he had promised.
However, in December 2020, Delhi government rejected claims filed by 12 out of 15 families of police personnel who died of coronavirus while on duty. A report in Hindustan Times says that Delhi government rejected these claims while claiming that these officers were not on COVID duty when they were infected by the virus.
As per the report as many as 31 police officers in Delhi have lost their lives due to coronavirus. Of these, 15 were on coronavirus duty when they were on duty. Of these 15, 12 claims are rejected while 3 are pending with Delhi government.
As per Delhi Police, over and above the data sent by Delhi police, some promises were made by AAP leaders, government and chief ministers after reading media reports as well. “The people who died were on field duty and travelling across the city. Informing their families that the compensation has been rejected is difficult,” A Delhi Police officer was quoted by HT.
In May last year, Delhi Police constable Amit Kumar lost his life while he was infected with coronavirus while being on duty in NorthWest Delhi. His wife was pregnant with their second child. Kejriwal promised Rs 1 crore compensation to him.
She also lost her job as a teacher in North MCD school but lost her job. She got to know of her second pregnancy when she was admitted to quarantine centre after her husband succumbed to the Chinese virus. No compensation was given to his family.
The HT report further talks about how Delhi Police constable Yogendra Prasad Yadav lost his life while on COVID duty. He was posted at the Paschim Vihar police station in outer Delhi and succumbed to the virus on July 7, 2020. He was sent across to ensure that the residents of Delhi follow lockdown norms.
The rejection letter by Delhi government reads, “the deceased was performing his routine duty assigned to him and was not deployed for Covid-19 duty, which is a mandatory condition to become eligible for grant of ex gratia of Rs 1 crore.” Yadav’s father, questioning Delhi Government on definition of ‘COVID duty’ requested the Delhi Chief Minister to keep his promise.
Over 7,000 Delhi Police personnel have tested positive for coronavirus till now, of which over 500 are still fighting the disease.