Muzaffarnagar: The Battle for Relief,Rehabilitation and Justice

A CPI(ML) team led by the Party General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya visited the Malakpur and Jaula relief camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts on 8 January 2014. The team also included Party Politburo members Swapan Mukherjee and Kavita Krishnan, Delhi State Secretary Sanjay Sharma, and Vice-President of AIKM Prem Singh Gehlawat. The team was also accompanied by activists of the All India Students’ Association (AISA), Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA) and the JNU Students’ Union President Akbar Chawdhary.

Summary of Observations

The Extent of the Communal Violence Is Being Understated

1. The scope of the communal violence is far greater than what the Government of UP admits. The number of those missing since the violence erupted is at least double the number to which the UP Government admits, and the death toll is likely to more than a 100.

2. Moreover, the violence affected not only Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts but also Baghpat and Meerut districts, and people from these four districts have fled due to communal violence and communal terror.

3. A large number of those displaced and rendered homeless by the communal violence are yet to be recognised as victims by the State Government. Even in the 9 villages identified by the Government as riot-affected, some 1500 ration-card holders who are currently displaced, are being denied compensation and recognition as riot victims.

4. Moreover, residents of more than 50 villages of Districts Shamli and Muzaffarnagar, and more than 30 villages in Districts Baghpat and Meerut, who fled in terror as they saw armed mobs attack their neighbouring villages, are also not being recognised as riot-affected, though they too have been displaced and their homes and property too were destroyed by the communal mobs. At Jaula relief camp, Vakeela, a widow aged 60, told us that she and several others fled, with children tied to women’s bodies, from Majra Hasanpur, a twin village to Lisadh. Although Hasanpur shares the same Pradhan as Lisadh, those who fled from there are not being recognised as bona fide victims of the riots!

5. Those who have fled following communal violence in Baghpat too, are not being recognised as riot victims. Victims of communal terror as well as communal violence, are equally deserving of compensation, relief and rehabilitation – this is a principle that the UP government is violating.