J&K militant attack: Seven-member family of slain food vendor still awaiting ex gratia from Bihar govt

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The family of Virender Paswan, the food vendor who was gunned down by the terrorists in Srinagar last week, has expressed their disappointment at the Bihar government for neglecting them. “Our future is left at fate. Except a meager Rs 20,000 no official has come to our help so far,” says Vikram Kumar, the deceased vendor’s son. 

Virendra Paswan from Saidpur village in Bhagalpur district was shot down by militants on October 5 when he was selling snacks at his roadside stall in Srinagar. Paswan had moved to Srinagar in 2019 to eke out a living following one of his brothers who is also a food vendor. 

“Eight days have passed since my father was killed by terrorists but the Rs two lakh compensation announced by the Bihar government has still not reached us,” Vikram said, further adding that the LJP leader gave them Rs 20000. Another RJD leader helped the family with Rs 10000 and BJP’s Rohit Pandey gave them Rs 51000.

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Comparing this incident with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, another villager from Saidpur said that the opposition parties made a hue and cry over the deaths of four farmers and provided financial assistance to the kin of the deceased. “The seven-member family of a street vendor has been neglected by the government,” he said. 

According to Vikram, in the name of state government’s compensation, his family was given only Rs 20000 by the block development officer a day after his father was killed. He also informed that Rs 6.25 lakh announced by the J&K government has been received by them but the ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh announced by the Bihar government is still awaited. IT major Infosys also came to the family’s rescue when a news channel shared a video clipping of their debt crisis. Infosys offered Rs 2 lakh to clear their debts. 

Virender Paswan had booked his tickets to come home so that he could help arrange the wedding of one of his sisters, Nitu Kumari. “It is our ill fate that this happened. Now it is my responsibility to run my family besides completing my studies,” Vikram said. 

Praising the Indian security forces, Vikram said that the army gave a befitting reply to the killer of his father.  

Bhagalpur DM was unavailable for comment.