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After SC rap,UP forms panel to probe child deaths in relief camps

17 deaths,including that of five newborns,have been reported at relief camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: December 14, 2013 2:48:06 am

In compliance with the Supreme Court’s orders,the UP government Friday set up a high-level committee headed by Meerut divisional commissioner to probe into the reports of children’s deaths at relief camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts.

Secretary (Home) Kamal Saxena,in a statement this evening,confirmed that the committee has been formed following the apex court’s order and that it will submit its report on December 18. District Magistrates and Chief Medical Officers of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts would be the members of the committee,he added.

Asking the UP government to “ascertain the correctness” of reports of deaths of children in riot relief camps,the Supreme Court on Thursday had directed that “immediate” remedial measures should be taken to provide for the cold winter months”.

The Indian Express had earlier reported that the Shamli district authorities had,in a report sent to the state home secretary on December 5,claimed “zero deaths” in the relief camps of their area while stating that no deaths were registered nor any death certificates issued.

Divisional Commissioner of Meerut division Manjit Singh,who visited Loi camp in Muzaffarnagar,said: “Not all those who have died are children,many are elderly people,so we will investigate if those deaths have been due to natural causes.”

Organisers of Loi camp told The Indian Express that 17 deaths,including that of five newborns,have been reported from their area.

Meanwhile,parents of 12 children who died reportedly of cold in Malakpur camp in Shamli,met the District Magistrate P K Singh Friday to report the deaths.

Members of the committee managing the camp submitted the names of 32 deceased to the authorities,which,they said,includes only four adults.

Mehbooba,42,who buried her four-year-old daughter,Khushnooma,was among those who met him on Friday.

“I told the authorities that no doctors had visited the camp when my daughter had contracted pneumonia and was dying in the cold… I did not know who did I have to go to register my daughter’s death,so I have told them to do it now and give some blankets for my other seven children,” Mehbooba said.

The government is yet to resume food supplies that were stopped November 15 after the Rs 5 lakh compensation was distributed. Till Friday evening,no blankets were distributed in these camps either.

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