We trusted the govt,they have failed us: Riot victims

All india Imam Council members hold protest at Jantar Mantar,demand compensation,punishment to guilty.

Written by Dipankar Ghose , Dipankar Ghose | New Delhi | Published: October 3, 2013 3:17:55 am

The All India Imam Council on Wednesday held a protest at Jantar Mantar condemning the riots in Muzaffarnagar,which has left 49 dead and has seen more than 50,000 people flee their homes.

Three victims of the riots,one of whose child is missing,spoke at the gathering.

The dharna was attended by AIIC Imams from several states,including Kerala and Maharashtra.

Maulana Usman Baig,national president of the AIIC,said: “The government has failed to give security to the people. Both the Centre and the state governments are to blame. The minority community,including Dalits,had trusted the Samajwadi party government to be different. They have failed us.”

Hanif Mohammad of Lisadh village,Muzaffarnagar,was one of the victims who spoke to the crowd of 50 people attending the protest. “Several people in my village were killed. Some were burnt alive. Even after we fled,they set fire to our houses and destroyed everything we owned. There has been no justice as the attackers still roam free,while my family has to live in a refugee camp,” he said.

Azaad from Lakh village in Shamli alleged that the attacks on the Muslims in his village were carefully engineered. “On the evening of September 7,the Jats made an announcement at the temple where leaders said all of us would be killed. We had started to leave,when some Jats came to our homes and told us to stay and said that they would protect us. When dawn broke,it was them who attacked us,looted us,misbehaved with our women,and killed some men and women,” Azaad said.

Shela Khatun said her 12-year-old daughter Shahnaz is still missing,close to a month after the incidents took place. “I was running away from Lakh village with my three children. I was carrying my two younger children and Shahnaz was holding my hand. Somewhere in the sugarcane fields her hand slipped. Those chasing us were so close that I couldn’t turn back for the sake. I could hear scream “Chhoro,Chhoro (let me go)”. I haven’t seen her since,” she said.

Maulana Baig said the AIIC’s demands from the government were threefold.

“First,punish the guilty and ensure the safety of the Mulsims in Muazaffarnagar so people can return to their homes. Second,adequate compensation must be given to those who lost family members and their homes. Third,the government must bring out the Communal Violence bill to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

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