First distress sale in Muzaffarnagar: Jat neighbours buy victim family's home

MuzaffarnagarA muslim family of three brothers sold their ancestral property to their Jat neighbours in Lakh village in Shamli district, on December 6. (IE Photo)

Three months after the riots in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts, the sale of properties has begun. In what appears to be the first sale, according to records available with the tehsil offices and pradhans of the six riot-hit villages, a

Muslim family of three brothers sold their ancestral property to their Jat neighbours in Lakh village in Shamli district, on December 6.

Officials said the districts are yet to be notified as "distress areas", where the administration has to be informed about the sale of property. "I know we can never come back here after what we have seen... our whole community has been pushed out of here, there is no question of returning... but it feels odd to know that my children will not grow up in my ancestral home, and my grandchildren will never even know this home existed," said Nawab, one of the brothers who returned home to pack their belongings Wednesday.

His family is among the 680 riot-affected families from Shamli district who signed a government affidavit forfeiting their right to return to their villages in return for a government compensation of Rs 5 lakh.

Picking some bricks from the boundary wall of what used to be his home, Nawab said, "I want to go back with some bricks... if and when I build a new home, I will use them." Nawab and his brothers, Shauqeen and Shabbir, sold their property of 580 square metres to their neighbours, Iqbal Singh and his brothers, Kreta and Ranbir, for Rs 15 lakh.

After leaving home during the riots, Nawab's 17-member family sought relief in a camp in Joula, in Muzaffarnagar district. "After the government camp was dismantled, we moved to the house of a brick kiln owner in Joula. About 10 families are staying there," he said.

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