Muzaffarnagar riots: Victims fear further violence, refuse to return home

Muzaffarnagar relief campInterns from Muzaffarnagar at the various relief camps are prepared to face the harsh winter with their paltry resources, but are not prepared to return home as they fear more violence from the perpetrators of the original massacre whom they claim are 'roaming free in the open' (Express photo)

More than three months after the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining districts rendered thousands of people homeless, the displaced people lodged in relief camps refused to return home fearing for their safety.

"No concrete action has been taken against the perpetrators who are fearlessly roaming in the open. We would be killed if we get back. How can the administration expect us to leave relief camps?" rued 42-year-old Mehboob of Hasanpur village.

Victims are ready to bear harsh winters in thin canvass tents but are reluctant to move back to their native villages despite state government making every possible effort for their rehabilitation.

"We will die here but we will not move back," said Kausar of Bhura village in the district.

On Saturday, Divisional Commissioner Manjit Singh visited the Kandhla relief camp where he was apprised by some victims about the missing people during riots and they demanded that 11 missing people should be declared dead by the district authorities.

Singh also directed the district authorities to provide adequate medical treatment to the riot victims in camps.

District Magistrate of Shamli P K Singh confirmed that during riots 13 people went missing and later two bodies were recovered.

Eleven people of Lisadh village have also been missing, he said.

The Uttar Pradesh government set up high-level committee on December 13 to look into the issue of death of 11 children in relief camps.

Singh said investigations are on to ascertain the cause of the deaths.

It is learnt that one relief camp is operational in Muzaffarnagar district while four in Shamli district.

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