Mumbai Terror Attacks: State still has no details of foreigners who died

Mumbai: With only two days left for the eighth anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the Maharashtra Government told the Bombay High Court that they are still clueless about the whereabouts of the relatives of 26 foreign nationals who were killed in the mayhem. The state government further informed the court that it has granted Rs 2.2 crore to the families of the victims who were killed in the tragic incident.

An affidavit was furnished by government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani before a division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Mahesh Sonak. The affidavit filed by Ashwini Sanap, the Deputy Commissioner of Police stated that the government has granted Rs 3 lakh each to 74 victims as compensation.

The affidavit also stated that there were around 26 foreign nationals who were eligible to receive aid of Rs 3 lakh as per the eligibility criteria decided by the Union government. However the government has failed to get details of their legal heirs or families.

“Correspondence was made with the legal heirs of these 26 foreign nationals through their nation’s respective Embassy calling for their details. It was also communicated to the Central government and the Relief and Rehabilitation Department to intervene and help us in communicating with these foreign embassies relating to the matter,” the affidavit reads.

The affidavit further states that despite continuous correspondence with these embassies, there has been no reply. “The required information report is not

received from any of the embassies despite reminders in 2015 and 2016,” the affidavit further reads. Apart from the foreign nationals, the Maharashtra government is also clueless about the whereabouts of the kin of 30 victims of the attacks who came to Mumbai from different places in India.

According to the affidavit, people from Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh were killed in the attacks but the government has no idea about their families and addresses. The affidavit states, “Correspondence is being made with the concerned District Collectorates of the various states for getting information whether the respective State governments have sent proposals for obtaining the compensation of Rs 3 lakh. However, there has been no reply despite reminders.”

Going by the affidavit, the government has granted compensation to the families of victims who were killed in the attacks. Also two victims who became permanently handicapped after sustaining brutal injuries have been provided compensation. Meanwhile, Dipesh Mehta, a victim who was traumatised by the attacks said, “Though I was not badly injured, I was hospitalised for nearly six months and ended spending Rs eight lakh till now. Sadly, nobody has paid me any compensation.”

Chief Justice Chellur has now directed the Union government to clarify its stand over providing compensation to the victims of other blast cases. The matter will be next heard after six weeks.

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