Alleging forcible closure of relief camps in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar by Uttar Pardesh government, a civil society group today demanded that they be reopened with all basic facilities till a safe environment for the displaced has been created in their villages.
A six-member fact finding team from Centre for Policy Analysis (CPA), which recently visited the relief camps in violence affected areas of Muzaffarnagar district, claimed that people were still insecure about returning to their homes.
The team, comprising former IAS officer Harsh Mander, journalists Seema Mustafa and Sukumar Muralidharan and Professors Auradha Chenoy and Kamal Mitra Chenoy -- also asked the state government to reconsider its policy to award a compensation of Rs five lakh to those who undertake not to return to their original villages. "This is creating a permanent divide in the social fabric of the village as people are preferring to live in a Muslim dominated areas. Instead, it (government) should assist and support all families and try to create an environment of security so that people feel confident about returning home," Mander said while releasing the report.
She questioned the "unspoken hurry" to close the camps by the administration, when around 20,000 people were still living there.
"Even after 2002 Gujarat riots, the camps were closed after six month. What was the hurry for the administration to wind up the camps in three months, when the situation on the ground was not favourable for the displaced people," she said She said the women and children were the worst sufferers of the premature closure of the camps as there was no effort by the administration to create a safe environment.
"There have been around 540 FIRs against 6,000 people but the number of arrests were just 200. This reflects the regrettable failure of political and administrative will to ensure legal action against the perpetrator of the violence," Mustafa said, alleging that traumatised rape survivors were not given financial or even the proper medical care.