Compensation-distribution exercise to riot-hit people has left the district administration here is in a “tricky situation” as the number of people shifting back to camps set up for affected people has seen a rise in the last few days. The reason behind this “unusual phenomenon” is the demand by Muslims from violence-hit villages that the compensation be paid separately to each married couple and not club them with their father who is being considered as head of the family by officials.

“Till a few days back there were around 1,000 people living in the Loi camp, the only officially operational camp in the district; but now growing demand for more compensation has seen their number swelling to 1,800 in 420 hutments. There is growing pressure from the society and political/religious class to give the relief money to extended family also, which is against the State government rules,” District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma told The Hindu.

“People are risking lives of their family members, particularly kids, by bringing them back to the Loi camp just for more compensation. We have offered them to shift from tents erected under the open sky to a government school in nearby Kalyanpur village so that they could get some relief from cold, but they have refused to cooperate. Earlier the camp was set up inside the village head’s compound, but they later moved to a government land. We are constantly monitoring the situation and making arrangements for their comfortable stay,” Mr. Sharma claimed.

However, Shandar Gufran, a social activist, supports giving more compensation to an affected villager who has been living separately from his father as “he has a family to support and Rs.5 lakh is grossly insufficient for a family of 10 who have lost their houses and are displaced”.

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