GUWAHATI: In a significant decision by the Assam government on Wednesday, it has been announced that a monthly pension of Rs 15,000 will be provided to over 300 people of the state jailed during the ‘Emergency’ period.
The Emergency refers to a 21-month period from 1975 to 1977 imposed by then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Martial law was imposed during this time and the Constitutional rights of the people of the country were suspended
The decision was announced by Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Ashok Singhal during a press conference after a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was held. Singhal said the state government is considering the people jailed during the Emergency as 'Lok Tantra Senani', which roughly translates as Democracy Warriors.
"To recognise their contribution towards democracy, the Assam Cabinet today approved giving a monthly pension to 301 people. They will receive Rs 15,000 per month. If the person is no more, his wife will get the amount, and if both of them have died, their unmarried daughter will get this sum," minister Singhal said.
The Housing and Urban Affairs Minister informed that although many states in India provide pension to such people jailed during the Emergency period, the amount being given by Assam will be the ‘highest’.
Speaking about other decisions taken at the cabinet meet, Tourism Minister Jayanta Malla Baruah said Assam and Arunachal Pradesh will sign an agreement in presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday to end the long- pending border disputes between the two states.
The Tourism minister said, "There were many joint regional committees and they were discussing the border disputes for many months. Two days ago, they submitted their suggestions and the Assam Cabinet approved those today.”
The two neighbouring states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh share a 804.1-km border in Udalguri, Sonitpur, Biswanath, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Charaideo districts and there is a total of around 1,200 disputed points along the interstate border.
Minister Baruah also said investment proposals worth Rs 8,201.29 crore for eight mega projects were approved by the cabinet.
He further added that these projects will result in direct employment of 6,100 youths, while the number of indirect jobs will be even higher.