New Delhi. 25 August 2016. It comes as a respite for victims of low intensity conflict living in infested areas. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to enhance the grant of compensation to the civilian victims under the scheme titled “Central Scheme for Assistance to Civilian Victims of Terrorist/ Communal/Left Wing Extremist (LWE), Cross Border Firing and Mine/IED blasts on Indian Territory” from Rs.3 lakhs to Rs.5 lakhs.

The highlights of the scheme are many. For the first time, civilian victims of cross border firing along the Indo-Pak border will be given a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh similar to those who die due to terrorism or LWE violence.

The decision to give compensation to the victims of cross border firing and enhancing the amount from Rs.3 lakh to Rs.5 lakh to the victims of terrorism or LWE violence was taken by the Government on Wednesday. Now onwards, any civilian who dies anywhere in the country due to terror attack, LWE violence, firing from across the border, shelling or IED explosion will be given Rs.5 iakh as compensation uniformly. The amount will be given to the next of kin of the victim.

Rs.5 lakh will also be given to those who receive 50 per cent or more disability or incapacitation due to the same reasons. The compensation amount will be given subject to the condition that no employment has been provided to any of the family members of the victims by State or Central Government.

Till now the next of kin of persons killed or civilians who suffered permanent incapacitation as a result of such violence were paid Rs.3 lakh as per provisions of the Central Scheme for Assistance to Civilian Victims of Terrorist, Communal, Naxal violence since 2008. Families of the victims would be eligible to get assistance under the scheme even if they have received any other assistance, by way of payment of ex-gratia or any other type of relief from the Government or any other source except when a similar scheme is already being implemented by the Central Government. So far, the Government has disbursed Rs.35.89 crore as compensation to civilian victims since inception of this Scheme in 2008.

During the Prime Minister’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir on 23.10.2014, the issue of financial assistance to the people killed in cross border firing was raised. For the first time in 70 years since independence, realizing the problem of Indian population residing in border areas, the Government analyzed their plight as they suffer due to frequent violations of ceasefire specifically on the North Western border of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan. Approximately 770 km of the Line of Control (LC) and approximately 220 km of International Border (IB) have been a witness to frequent ceasefire violation and the influx of terrorists since 1990. 13921 civilians have lost their lives till 2015. In view of the hardships faced by the civilian populations, the Government decided to include the civilian victims of cross border firing under the Scheme.