An 80-year-old Urdu poet Asrar Sahib ‘declared dead’ by Delhi social welfare department

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government is looking into a case of an eminent Urdu poet being allegedly declared dead by the city’s social welfare department in 2013, thereby depriving him of his pension benefits.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia today directed Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam to visit 80- year-old poet Asrar Jamayee’s residence and correct the blunder.

“Have asked Rajendr Gautam ji, Minister Social Welfare & Urdu Academy, to meet Asrar Sahib and do all the needful within 48 hours,” Sisodia tweeted, reacting to a report on the issue in web portal ‘Scroll’.

When contacted, Gautam said the facts of the case are being looked into. He will visit the poet’s residence tomorrow.

“I cannot immediately confirm if the facts stated are true but I have directed the concerned officials to urgently take necessary action. At times, names are struck off from lists of beneficiaries if people don’t submit living certificates, which is to be done annually,” he said.

According to the report, deprived of the monthly pension of Rs 1,500, Jamayee, who lives alone, had approached both the previous Congress regime under Sheila Dikshit and the present Arvind Kejriwal government for help, but to no avail.