Rivers spill to create law and order problem in UP

Flood victims assault officials over relief distribution

As the toll neared 300 and number of affected districts went up to 40, the floods in Uttar Pradesh have not only displaced over 15 lakh people and inundated huge tracts of land but also threaten to turn into a law and order problem.

In recent days, flood victims have assaulted officials over lack of relief material and thieves have struck at abandoned, submerged houses.

According to reports, government officials have been facing the wrath of people for their alleged failure to provide them with relief, and for discriminating in its distribution.

In Ghazpiur district, about 350 kilometres from here, the flood victims held several revenue officials hostage for several hours in protest against exclusion of their names in the list of affected people. They also reportedly roughed up a revenue clerk.

Similar reports have been received from other places as well, according to the sources.

Reports said that no minister or officials have bothered to visit the flood affected areas.

The resentment of the victims, who alleged that they had been left to fend for themselves, triggered panic in the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the party general secretary and senior minister Shivpal Singh Yadav directed the officials to provide all possible help to the victims and warned of stern action if any laxity was found.

The reports of widespread theft in the towns where the waters of the overflowing rivers had entered into the residential areas have also been giving headaches to the government. Several cases of theft have been reported from Varanasi and Allahabad towns where a large number of houses have been submerged in water.

The authorities had directed patrolling by the police on boats in these localities, sources said.

Districts like Ghazipur, Ballia, Faizabad, Sitapur, Baharaich, Basti, Mirzapur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Gonda were badly affected by the floods, reports said.

A large number of villages have been marooned and the people have taken shelter on the roofs of their houses. Over 100 people have died in the rains and incidents of house collapse while around 50 people died after being struck with lightning in the state.

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