High and dry: Eid has gone, but Singh’s family awaits compensation

Slain minority minister’s son says MPA’s relatives are seeking shelter at uncle’s home


Izhar Ullah/Saba Rani July 16, 2016
Ghani also confirmed this development, saying the package would be provided in a week. He said the delays were caused by the budget being announced in Ramazan and Eid holidays. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: Eid has come and gone, but promises made by the government to provide compensation for the family of slain minority MPA Sardar Soran Singh remain unfulfilled.

However, there may be some good news around the corner as K-P CM’s Advisor Mushtaq Ghani said the package is in its final stages and will be released in a week.

Although countless commitments have been made by the provincial government to provide moral and financial support for the family of the deceased MPA, his relatives are left in the doldrums as there are no earning members in the household.

Singh was a PTI parliamentarian who was gunned down in his hometown of Buner in April 2016. His political rival, Baldev Kumar, has been accused of the murder.

An amount of Rs10 million with monthly household expenses, rent and education allowances was part of the package announced by Chief Minister Pervez Khattak for Soran Singh’s family as compensation. Reports also surfaced that the total was later reduced to Rs5.5 million by Chief Secretary Amjad Khan. Singh’s family has also claimed that the late MPA’s account in Bank of Khyber, where his salary was deposited, has also been closed.

The family is yet to receive anything from the government.

It is looking for the support of both the federal and provincial government. The relatives alleged they had been left out due to the fact that they are non Muslim.

Speaking to The Express Tribune before Eid, Ajay, his son, told The Express Tribune the family is left helpless.

“No one is here to support us,” he said. “For PTI, my father lost his life and now their government has forgotten us. We are forced to take shelter in my uncle’s house.”

It was also announced that the Sikh community of Peshawar would pay Rs10, 000 to Singh’s family every month. However, none of these promises were fulfilled and the family is now without a home of their own.

“Even our own community is not supporting us,” Ajay said. “All those slogans were for the media, but in reality amount to nothing.”

“I have visited almost all government offices, but couldn’t meet any of my father’s fellows who could support us”. He said he even paid a visit to Chief Minister’s Advisor Mushtaq Ghani, but the official’s personal secretary asked him to leave the office.

When contacted, Ghani said the matter would be resolved after Eid holidays. The special assistant stated the government was also planning on continuing the monthly salary of the MPA for his family.

Meanwhile, the relevant authorities have also taken Singh’s official car back, while the room booked under his name in the MPAs’ hostel has been allotted to someone else.

Meanwhile, Ajay clarified that an amount of Rs0.5 million paid to the family was not part of the Rs10 million compensation announced by the provincial government.

He stated the amount was released by the Buner district government. Talking to The Express Tribune on Saturday, Ajay said the package announced by the government was in process and he hoped it would be released in the coming days.

Ghani also confirmed this development, saying the package would be provided in a week. He said the delays were caused by the budget being announced in Ramazan and Eid holidays.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2016.

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