Muzaffarnagar riots: For Rs 5 lakh, 900 families give up their right to return home
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With winter setting in, and the conditions in relief camps fast deteriorating, over 900 displaced families in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts have signed affidavits stating that they will not return to their villages, in return for a compensation of Rs 5 lakh from the state government.
"Main aur mere parivar ke sadasya apne gram mein hui hinsatmak ghatnaon se bhayakant hokar gaon va ghar chhodkar aaye hain, tatha in kinhi bhi paristhitiyon mein ab apne mool gaon evam ghar nahin lautenge ( I and my family left our village and our home due to the violent incidents there. We will not return to our village and home under any circumstances)," says the affidavit.
The affidavit, which was first ratified by a government order on October 28 and revised on October 29, adds that the compensation will only be used for rehabilitation in "any other land, arranging residence elsewhere", and that such rehabilitation will not be in any "government, non-government or village land occupied illegitimately".
The affidavit also states that those who take the compensation will not be eligible for any other government compensation "for property in their village, or any more immovable property".
The affidavit is being offered as an option to 1,600-odd families in the nine "worst affected" villages of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli. The district administrations transfer the Rs 5 lakh electronically, within hours of getting the signatures.
"We had identified 950 families, of which compensation has already been given to 620 families. We are transferring the money electronically on the day people sign the affidavits," said Muzaffarnagar District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma.
However, officials in both the districts maintained that the property or land owned by the displaced people "will continue to remain in their names."