Raipur: The INC government in Chhattisgarh Tuesday said pension being given to those who were detained under Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during Emergency would be put on hold from February.
A senior official said the decision, issued by the state’s General Administration Department, was taken as the government wanted to physically verify the beneficiaries and reassess the disbursement process.
“The state government has decided to conduct physical verification of loktantra senani (MISA detainee) and reassess the disbursement process of samman nidhi (pension) given to them,” he said.
“The pension will be put on hold from February till completion of the process. The order was issued by the state’s General Administration Department,” he informed.
The Chhattisgarh government order stated that the pension given under the Loknayak Jai Prakash Narayan Samman Nidhi needs “proper regularisation” as well as more “accuracy and transparency”.
Beneficiaries protest withholding of pension
The move has, however, invited criticism from an association of such detainees which alleged that the state government’s “intention” was “not good”.
“There is no need to stop pension till verification. The verification process can be carried out at the government level simultaneously. It shows the intention of the government is not as good as no time limit has been mentioned for the verification,” Loktantra Senani Sangh national vice president and BJP leader Sachchidanand Upasane said.
“If the (State) government is thinking only RSS and BJP leaders were MISA detainees, then it is not correct. Congress leaders, lawyers, social workers and journalists are getting pension under the scheme, too, ” he said.
Under the scheme, people who spent three months in jail under MISA during Emergency are given Rs 10,000 per month, those who were imprisoned for six months get Rs 15,000 per month, and those jailed for over six months get Rs 25,000.
Earlier, in an order dated 29 December, the Congress government in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh had put on hold disbursal of pension under this scheme.
During the Emergency imposed by then prime minister Indira Gandhi-led Congress government between 1975 and 1977, thousands were detained across the country under MISA.