Muzaffarnagar riot victims told to leave camps within three days

Muzaffarnagar/Shamli, 15 June 2014: Muzaffarnagar riot victims have been told last evening to vacate their camps within three days.  District officials told them that they cannot be allowed to stay on government land.

Muzaffarnagar Riot Victims

Shamli’s sub-divisional magistrate Suresh Kumar Mishra confirmed these orders. He "appealed" to the refugees to return to their native villages.

An estimated 15,000 uprooted people are still living in camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts since early September last year. Originally there were about one lakh refugees who had taken shelter on forest land in these two districts after fleeing from violence of Hindutva goons. Later about half of them returned to their villages while some went to live with their relatives or bought land or rented houses in the area. Those who still live in the camps are the most disadvantaged and poor. Some refugees have been accommodated in small housing projects built by Muslim organisations on private land in the area. Most of these refugee camps are located at Malakpura, Narpur Khurgan, Akbarpur  and Sunethi villages in Shamli district.

Upset, the victims who lost most of their possessions during the riots, said they have nowhere to go. Said Usman Miyan of Bibipur camp, "We cannot go back to the village as there is no security for us. The government cannot do this to us. Where will we go now?"

Shabbir of the same camp added, "Hundreds of families are living in these camps. They have lost their homes and fields. There is nothing left for them to go back to.”

Some like Dilshad, president of the committee at Malakpura camp where around 300 families are residing, accepted that "we cannot stay in the camps forever. I have around 25 bighas of land which I am willing to donate and there are lots of organizations which are willing to erect homes for the displaced. We have plans to allocate 50 sq yard of land to each family. Allah's willing, the work will start soon."

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