RJD chief urges Akhilesh Yadav to constitute a high-level committee to look into grievances of the riot victims

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, who is out on bail after being convicted in the fodder scam in his State Bihar, made a surprise visit on Sunday to the camps for the riots-affected from Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh.

Talking to The Hindu during his visit, Mr. Prasad said that he found that the inmates in the camps were living in “distress” and were “scared” to return home.

Mr. Prasad visited the Loi, Sanjhak, Jogia Khera, Jhola and Bahaudi relief camps and met the victims. Their only plea is to get a safe place to shift, he said.

He said he spoke to U.P. Chief Minister Akhilesh Prasad and asked him to “take steps to ensure the well-being of the riot-affected.” The RJD chief has suggested that the State constitute a “high-level committee of trusted people” for hearing and resolving the grievances of the victims. “How will the people return home unless the government creates confidence in them?”

Mr. Prasad also urged the State not to uproot the victims from their camps till they were provided alternate shelter in wake of reports that victims who had been compensated were being forcefully evicted from the camps. “I told him not to give importance to hearsay. Akhilesh gave me a positive response and said the State would take the necessary steps. It should be the priority of the State to ensure the safety of the people and take necessary precaution.”

Taking a dig at the Aam Aaadmi Party, which has formed government in Delhi, Mr. Prasad said the party was talking of providing free power and water but has not specified how it would do it. “Is power given out in charity?”

The BJP criticised Mr. Prasad’s trip calling it a “pseudo secular” trip. Mr. Prasad dismissed that his visit was political. “Ever since (Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra) Modi’s man Amit Shah has come to U.P., there have been efforts to communalise the atmosphere. In Bihar and U.P., the forces led by Modi are trying to communalise things. We need to curb it together, not be slack,” he said.

Rajya Sabha Mr. Prasad was accompanied by Rajya Sabha MPs Mohammed Adeeb and Prem Chandra Gupta, and the RJD UP head Ashok Singh.