Ex gratia for 2k staffers who died on UP poll duty | India News

BAREILLY: The UP government will compensate the families of 2,020 of its employees who died of Covid-19 while on panchayat election duty in April and May. Of them, 1,071 were teachers or education staff. In May, the government had said just three teachers had died on poll duty.
Prior to the election, the risk teachers were at during poll duty had been taken up in court. The Supreme Court eventually allowed counting to take place following the predetermined schedule after the state government and the State Election Commission (SEC) said precautions would be taken. But just as the election was under way, TOI had on April 24 first reported that several teachers had died after panchayat election duty with Covid-19 symptoms — teachers’ unions put the toll at 1,621 after the polls ended.
Initially, the government counted only those who had died within 24 hours of poll duty. The state’s basic education department had then said that election duty “starts when an employee reaches the training centre and ends after he completes the polling or the counting and leaves the booth.” If someone died within those few hours, their families would be eligible for compensation. When that was extended to a 30-day window — Covid symptoms take time to appear — the number of those eligible for the Rs 30-lakh compensation went up.
The basic education department said the responsibility of final identification was not theirs. The government, in turn, said the state polling body was accountable.

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