MHA awaits Akhilesh reply on children's deaths in Muzaffarnagar relief camps

The Ministry of Home Affairs said Monday that it has sent four letters to the Uttar Pradesh government seeking details about the number of children who have died at the riot relief camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts, the reasons for the deaths and the steps taken to prevent further casualties, but the state government is yet to respond.

"We have sent four letters, beginning December 8. The latest one was sent today. However, the UP government has ignored all our queries," said a senior government official.

Last week, a high-level committee constituted by the state government had said that at least 34 children have died in the relief camps since September 7. According to the report, 4,783 people are still living in the five relief camps.

"Most of the children who lost their lives were those who had been taken outside the camps for treatment by their parents or were referred to government hospitals," claimed UP Principal Secretary (Home) A K Gupta.

Gupta had earlier sparked a controversy with his comment that nobody dies due to the cold. Taking exception to the remark, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had asked officials to watch their words and ensure that nobody's feelings were hurt.

"Use of words by officials or partymen, whether about the government's drawbacks or the party's achievements, should be such that nobody's feelings are hurt," he said.

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav too had sparked a controversy when he claimed that the people living in the camps were not riot victims.

(With PTI inputs)

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