10,000 riot victims still in Muzaffarnagar camps

Displaced people not ready to return to their villages

As many as 10,000 riot victims are living in tents at several relief camps in the riot-torn Muzaffarnagar district, even five months after the communal violence.

The figure was ascertained after a survey conducted by the district administration, according to reports. 

Although the UP government had demolished several relief camps in the district and forcibly evicted the displaced riot victims, many of them did not return to their native villages fearing for their lives and had taken shelter in camps erected elsewhere.

According to reports, relief camps at Joula and Basikalan villages in the district still have thousands of riot victims. These victims refused to go back to their native villages despite every attempt by the government.

Besides these two villages, a few tents have also been erected in other parts of the district. A large number of people are still there at the Malakpur relief camp in the neighboring Shamli district.

The state government has paid Rs 90 crore in compensation to the families of the displaced riot victims for the purpose of rehabilitation. Though the compensation has been paid, thousands of families are still at the relief camps alleging that they have not received the money. 

Officials as well as the Samajwadi Party leaders have also alleged that those living in the camps are not genuine riot victims but people who want compensation for free.

District officials said that they are trying to provide these victims necessary facilities. 

 As many as 37 children died reportedly from cold at the relief camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts. Of these 14 children had died in the relief camps and the remaining had died at different hospitals where they had been taken for treatment.

As many as 62 people were killed and over one hundred injured in the communal violence that rocked the district in September last year. Fifty thousand people had been displaced after the riots and had taken shelter in relief camps.

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