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Exclusive: RTI reveals Kejriwal govt yet to pay compensation to families of 79 police officials who died in line of Covid duty

In 2020, the AAP government had announced to compensate the families of healthcare workers, who died on COVID-19 duty, to the tune of ₹1 crore. The scheme was later expanded to include kin of police personnels.

A Right to Information (RTI) reply has revealed that Arvind Kejriwal led-AAP government in Delhi is yet to pay ₹1 crore compensation to the families of 79 police officials who died in line of COVID-19 duty between 2020-2021.

The query was filed by activist Vivek Pandey in February this year, wherein he sought information about the deceased Covid warriors whose families received compensation from the Delhi government until January 2024.

In its response on 21st February, the Revenue Department of the government stated that about 92 families had received a compensation of ₹1 crore till January 2024.

Screengrab of the RTI query filed by Vivek Pandey

It must be mentioned that in 2020, the Kejriwal government had announced to compensate the families of healthcare workers, who died in the line of COVID-19 duty., to the tune of ₹1 crore.

Later, the Delhi CM expanded the list of beneficiaries to include civil defence personnel, teachers, policemen and firemen.

Arvind Kejriwal said in April 2020, “We started the scheme to cover any doctor, nurse, lab technician or hospital sanitation worker contracting the infection and dying during the course of duty. There are other people too who are looking after corona patients – policemen, civil defence volunteers, teachers and fire service personnel. If anyone contracts coronavirus and dies while attending to corona patients, their families will also be given Rs 1 crore.”

Screengrab of the news report in The Times of India

A report published by The Times of India on 2nd December last year highlighted that families of 79 police officials, who died serving COVID-19 patients, had not received compensation from the Delhi government.

While arguing before the Delhi High Court, the government had acknowledged that only families of 92 Covid Warriors had been compensated until then. It had even tried to insinuate that the 79 deceased police officials somehow did not die due to COVID-19 duty.

The Delhi High Court had rapped the AAP govt, “Announcements are made first then some reverse engineering is done…you are asking the police department for more documents after rejecting the list of names they sent as those eligible for compensation…You should have done this exercise before rejecting their claim. If the police department itself is sending you names means they must have vetted it, what more documents you need.

Given that the RTI query was filed in February this year and there has not been any increase in the number of beneficiaries, it signifies that the pending compensation of the 79 deceased police officials has not been cleared.

In a tweet, Vivek Pandey wrote, “#RTI shows Kejriwal govt hasn’t compensated families of 79 covid warriors police officials till date. Why these families have to approach court? “Shame on govt”

This is however not the first time that the AAP government in Delhi tried to deny compensation to families of deceased Covid-19 warriors.

OpIndia had reported in January 2021 how the family of deceased Delhi police constable, Amit Kumar, was not paid any compensation despite the assurance of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in May 2020.

In November 2023, the Delhi High Court directed the AAP government to release ₹1 crore for the kin of the Covid Warrior.

Given that it took more than 3 years for the family of Amit Kumar to receive compensation, it needs to be seen when the Delhi government live upto its promises in case of 79 other police officials who died in line of Covid duty.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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