As many as 50 victims, 34 of whom were children, of the riots that broke out in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas last September have died while staying in relief camps that had been put up to provide them with shelter and safety.
The administration officials confirmed that those who died were Muslims. Of the 34 children, some died during treatment at hospitals while others at relief camps. On Friday, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman K G Balakrishnan, who held a three-day camp in Lucknow, relayed the state government’s information to him that 47 people had died in the camps by December 3.
Post that, two have been reported dead from Shamli’s Kairana area — one of whom was a 15-day-old child while the other, 35-year-old Mohammad Umar, was suffering from liver problem, Shamli district officials informed.
Another death was reported from Muzaffarnagar’s Shahpur area last week. A 63-year-old woman, Mehmoodan, who was staying in a makeshift hutment after the relief camp in Shahpur closed died Thursday. Mehmoodan’s body, like the rest, was buried without a post-mortem examination, the reason why officials could not confirm the cause behind these deaths. Muzaffarnagar additional district magistrate (ADM) Dr Indra Mani Tripathi confirmed that autopsies were not performed in any of the cases.
Before the media last month, the state government had cited pneumonia, fever, premature birth, and chronic diseases as cause for the majority of these deaths. It denied that lack of facilities at the camps led to the deaths or held officials accountable for it.
A total of 58 relief camps — 41 in Muzaffarnagar and 17 in Shamli — had been set up. Barring two regular camps and four satellite camps in Kairana, all the others have been closed. The victims have either returned to their native place or have settled at other places, confirmed Shamli ADM Pratap Singh Bhaduri.In the two relief camps still functioning in Shamli, around 2,618 persons are staying, informed an official.