3 decades after anti-Sikh riots, High Court directs payment of compensation to 2 victims

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The Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court has directed the district administration to pay compensation with interest to two victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Justice SC Sharma passed the order on 17 August while hearing the petitions filed by Surjeet Singh (67) and Sharan Singh (68).

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Advocate Himanshu Joshi, the petitioners’ lawyer, told reporters on Thursday that Surjeet Singh’s timber shop was burnt down and Sharan Singh’s liquor shop was looted during the anti-Sikh riots in the city in 1984 following the killing of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. The district administration had denied them compensation because their names were not on the official list of victims.

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On the basis of records submitted by the petitioners, the high court declared both as riot-affected persons and directed the district Collector to give them compensation for the loss of property with 8.5% annual interest from 1984.

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The HC also imposed a total cost of Rs 50,000 on the state government, to be paid to the petitioners, and asked the Collector to file a compliance report within 90 days. If the order was not complied with, the court will initiate contempt proceedings, the judge said.

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