UP communal riots leaves 45,000 homeless

UP communal riots leaves 45,000 homeless

UP communal riots leaves 45,000 homeless

Although the situation in riot torn Muzaffarnagar district has improved, with no reports of untoward incidents in the past three days,  the violence that erupted in the district a week ago has rendered 45,000 people homeless.

District officials said on Friday that 38 relief camps have been set up, in which around 45,000 people, including old men, women and children, have taken refuge.
“A majority of those who have taken shelter in the camps are from rural areas,” officials said, indicating that the villages were more affected by the communal frenzy.

The camps also house thousands of people from the neighbouring Baghpat district. People had fled their homes after communal violence spread to the rural areas in Muzaffarnagar. Those living in the relief camps complained of poor facilities with a severe shortage of food and other materials, though officials claim otherwise.

“We had to escape in a hurry and we could not carry anything with us. We only have the clothes that we had worn. We have nothing left. Our houses have been burnt to ashes and our belongings have been looted,” said one of the refugees at a camp. They said that some voluntary organizations had come forward to help them by providing food and other essential commodities. “Older people, women and small children are facing more problems,” they said.

District officials, ministers and other people’s representatives had visited the camps on Thursday, to take stock of the situation and find out if the arrangements were adequate.

The officials admitted that  the people were not ready to return to their homes until the situation normalised completely. “We will not force anyone to leave the camps,” the officials said.

Meanwhile, day curfew has been lifted from Muzaffarnagar town on Friday after the situation showed a marked improvement. Night curfew, however, would continue, officials say.

Efforts are on to trace the dozens of people who have gone missing after the riots, officials added. At least 38 people were killed and over 100 injured in the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and in a few adjoining districts.