The funds were distributed for treatment, to families of those who were murdered, who died in accidents, committed suicide and those who died “untimely”
As his government faced heat over various criminal incidents, including communal violence, rapes and murders, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s office responded in kind — by distributing large amounts as compensation to those affected.
According to the information accessed by The Indian Express under RTI Act from the CM office, since coming to power in 2012, Akhilesh had spent over three times more of what BSP chief Mayawati had distributed in her five-year tenure as chief minister (2007-2012).
The initial approach of the state government to award compensation to only selected martyred central police personnel and Army had led to protests. Following this, the government had tried to compensate every such family.
Akhilesh had spent Rs 86.26 crore from the CM’s Distress Relief Fund, often used to provide help during natural calamities and other disasters. This included Rs 25 crore that the government gave for the 2013 Uttarakhand floods and Rs 20 crore for Jammu and Kashmir floods of 2014.
Discretionary Fund is provided for in the Budget. Either the CM’s approves an application for assistance or spends the fund on his own initiative. Distress Relief Fund, on the other hand, includes donations received from people and organisations for use during natural or other disasters.
Under these funds, Rs 50 lakh was given to deputy SP Ziaul Haque, who was killed at Balipur village in Kunda in 2013. The next day, the government gave Rs 40 lakh to the families of village pradhan Nanhelal and his brother Suresh, who were also killed along with Haque.
The government gave Rs 30 lakh to Sumanlata, wife of Shahjahanpur journalist Jogendra Singh, whose alleged murder had created furore with the name of state minister Rammurti Verma figuring as an accused.
Records show while emergency funds have been distributed liberally, money sanctioned as compensation in cases of deaths and suicides have varied in similar cases. For example, while the families of over one dozen persons killed in rail accidents were given Rs 2 lakh or 5 lakh, the government gave Rs 10 lakh to the wife of Satai Ram Yadav, SP leader and MoS in the UP government. He had died after his car was hit at an unmanned rail crossing.
While most applications for help in accident deaths received assistance worth Rs 50,000 or Rs 1 lakh, the CM gave Rs 15 lakh to the family of one Rajesh Yadav from Kanpur Dehat for his “death in a car accident” in December, 2014. Also, Rs 15 lakh was given to the family of one Anurag Yadav for his death in a “car-bus accident”.
In Barabanki, Kusum Verma — wife of Ram Manorath Verma — was given Rs 5 lakh for her “husband’s murder”. However, Kaushalya, wife of Ram Suresh, was given only Rs 1 lakh for her “husband’s murder”.
While Husna Bano of Saharanpur got Rs 5 lakh after her husband died in an electricity-related accident, Raisa (Amroha) and Mansha Devi (Amethi) received Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh, respectively, for the deaths of their husbands in similar incidents.
Among journalists, the government had given Rs 20 lakh to the family of Amresh Mishra, a “bureau chief” with a Hindi daily in Pratapgarh, who had died in a road accident. Also, Rs 20 lakh was given to the mother of Tahir Abbas, editor of Rashtriya Sahara newspaper in Lucknow, on his “untimely death”. Moreover, Rs 20 lakh was given to the wife of an Amar Ujala reporter Manoj Srivastava on his “untimely death”.
Akhilesh also gave Rs 10 lakh each to the wife and father of reporter Dheeraj Pandey (Basti), who died after sustaining injuries in a road accident. The SUV that had run over Pandey belonged a local SP leader, though he was reportedly not travelling in it at the time of the incident.
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