Sunday, Oct 26, 2014

Distress sale: Muslim homes go cheap in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar

Babu Dheer Singh rests at his new house that he has purchased from one of the persons who left the village during the Muzaffarnagar riots in Kakra Village. (Source: Express photo by Oinam Anand) Babu Dheer Singh rests at his new house that he has purchased from one of the persons who left the village during the Muzaffarnagar riots in Kakra Village. (Source: Express photo by Oinam Anand)
Written by Pritha Chatterjee | Muzaffarnagar | Posted: August 27, 2014 10:06 pm | Updated: August 28, 2014 10:19 am

Last year’s riots still fresh in their minds, a growing number of Muslims in the Muzaffarnagar-Shamli area of Uttar Pradesh are selling their properties in the villages they have now abandoned to Jat neighbours at rates which locals admit are far below the market rates.

The authorities, however, say no distress sale has come to their notice and refuse to interfere, saying property sales remain a private affair.

The Indian Express found that in one village, Kankra, about 5 km from Kutba Kutbi, which saw eight murders and several riot-related cases, the majority of Muslims had sold their homes to Jats. On September 7 last year, three youths from the village who had gone to attend the Jat mahapanchayat, died after a clash broke out in Pulbaliyan village.

Village kids pass through houses that were abandoned during the Muzaffarnagar riots in Kakra Village. Most of the houses owned by the other community in the village  are on sale or have been sold. (Source: Express photo by Oinam Anand) Village kids pass through houses that were abandoned during the Muzaffarnagar riots in Kakra Village. Most of the houses owned by the other community in the village are on sale or have been sold. (Source: Express photo by Oinam Anand)

Fearing retaliation, 250 Muslim families fled their homes in the village and have since been staying at relief camps in nearby Muslim-dominated villages.

Village pradhan Ravinder Singh said in the past six weeks, 150 of the 250 Muslim families have sold their homes to Jat neighbours. “The situation is such that small incidents are taking communal colours — accidents, robberies, you name it. It has been like this for a year, in an area which never knew communal tension. So no matter what we say, the Muslims want to leave our village, and the Jats are not trying too hard to stop them either,” Singh said. He said that every day “more Muslims are coming to me with requests to sell their property”.

Damaged house of muslims, a year after the riots at village Lisad in Muzaffarnagar district on August 19th 2014. (Source: Express photo by Ravi Kanojia) Damaged house of muslims, a continued…

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