Centre announces compensation of Rs.5 lakh for cross-border firing victims
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on 8th July, 2016, enhanced the compensation amount to be received by victims of cross-border firing. Victims of terrorism, cross-border firing along the Indo-Pak border and those killed in Maoist violence will be given a compensation of Rs.5 lakh, up from the existing norm of Rs.3 lakh. Sufferers of 50% or more disability or incapacitation will also be granted the compensation.
The India-Pakistan border is characterized by ongoing armed skirmishes and fire exchange between the Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir. Cross-border firing and shelling along the Indo-Pak border kills 50 civilians every year on average. In 2015, 253 instances of cross-border firing at the International Border and 152 instances along the LoC took place.
In 2015, terror attacks in the country killed 7 people whereas the civilian death toll due to militancy in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015 was 17. Naxal violence in Maoist-hit states last year killed 168 civilians.
'Assistance to civilian victims of terrorist and communal violence' was the Home Ministry's scheme, effective since 1st April, 2008. In 2010, the title of the scheme was revised to include Naxal violence. Under this scheme, civilian victims or next of kin of the victim were entitled to Rs.3 lakh in the case of death or incapacitation or disability.
Assistance is offered to the spouse of the civilian victim, and in case a couple dies in the same incident of violence, the assistance is granted to the family. This assistance covers even foreign nationals as well as NRIs. No criteria regarding the income of the family is considered for eligibility under this scheme. This assistance does not extend to families of the perpetrators.
Each death or permanent incapacitation is compensated for under this scheme. The amount is put in a fixed deposit a/c with a minimum lock-in period of 3 years, or with minor children in the family, till the eldest child becomes of age, whichever is later. At the end of 3 years, the amount along with interest, is transferred into the savings a/c of the beneficiary.
The next of kin of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) personnel receive a compensation of Rs.15 lakh as an ex-gratia payment and also have other sources of compensation. Similarly, there exists a different system of compensation for the defence personnel.