Updated March 17th, 2024 at 16:18 IST

1992 Riots and 1993 Blasts: Maharashtra Govt Initiates Steps to Compensate Kin of Victims

The government has urged representatives or heirs of those who lost their lives in the riots and blasts to approach offices of the city within the next month.

The move to compensate the victims comes after a 2022 verdict of the Supreme Court on the same. | Image:File
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Mumbai: Three decades after the 1992 communal riots and the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, the Maharashtra government has initiated steps to compensate the legal heirs of persons who were killed or went missing during the tragic events.

The government issued an appeal letter on March 14, urging the legal representatives or heirs of those who lost their lives or went missing in the aftermath of the riots and blasts to approach offices of the city and suburban collectors within the next month.

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The move was prompted by a Supreme Court order of November 2022, directing the Maharashtra government to locate the legal heirs of the deceased or missing individuals from the period between the communal riots in December 1992 and the bomb blasts in March 1993 in Mumbai, and provide them with compensation and interest arrears.

During the turbulent period of December 1992 and January 1993, Mumbai was engulfed in communal tensions and riots, resulting in approximately 900 deaths and 168 persons missing. On March 12, 1993, a series of 13 blasts rocked various parts of the city, claiming 257 lives.

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According to the Supreme Court's ruling, the state government in 1998 issued a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the families of each of the deceased or missing victims from the riots and blasts incidents.

While the government had compensated the legal heirs of all 900 deceased and 60 missing persons, the remaining missing persons' legal heirs were yet to be located for disbursing the compensation.

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Criticising the government for not adequately pursuing the missing persons' legal heirs, the Supreme Court mandated that the compensation amount, along with a 9 per cent interest from 1998, be paid to all the victims' families.

In the recent letter, the government disclosed a list of deceased or missing persons whose legal relatives remain untraceable on government websites.

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"The legal heirs of the listed deceased/missing persons are hereby requested to approach the Mumbai city and Mumbai Suburban Collector's office within one month with necessary documentation and identity proof for financial assistance from the government," the letter said.

The government cautioned that legal action would be taken against individuals providing false documents or misleading information to claim benefits.

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Emphasising the failures in maintaining law and order during the tumultuous period between 1992 and 1993, the Supreme Court underscored the state government's responsibility to ensure the protection of people's fundamental rights and to offer compensation to the affected persons.

"One of the root causes of people's suffering was the failure of the State Government to maintain law and order. Therefore, the affected persons had a right to seek compensation from the government," the Supreme Court had stated. 

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Published March 17th, 2024 at 16:18 IST