Sikh panel puts candidates to test

Ludhiana, Punjab: The Ludhiana Sikh Migrants Welfare Board asked all major political parties and their candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections to make their stand clear on all crucial issues related to victims of  Sikh genocide of 1984 so that more than 15,000 families settled in the city could decide their line of action.

In an open letter to state presidents of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Indian National Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party and Aam Admi Party as well as their respective candidates, the board maintained that just about 10 per cent of the of the entitled riot victims had been allotted residential flats.

Chairman of the board Kartar Singh Patna said a large number of flats earmarked for allotment to genocide victims were under unlawful possession of ‘bogus’ applicants or else were occupied by certain self-styled leaders while the bona fide victims and their families were being deprived of the facility. According to Patna, an ex-gratia grant of Rs 2 lakh announced for the genocide victims in 2006 had been grossly misappropriated. A vigilance probe conducted into the irregularities had established that funds were misappropriated and did not reach the intended beneficiaries. Listing several other issues such as the constitution of boards at the state and national levels for redressal of grievances of the genocide victims, Patna sought reply from the political parties and their candidates. “Depending on the response of the political parties or their candidates, the riot victims will take a decision to cast their votes in the ensuing elections,” he added.

Source: The Tribune

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