The Samajwadi Party Government may have been condemned for the plight of the Muzaffarnagar and Shamli communal riots victims and the displaced persons, but it has earned accolades of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for the rehabilitation of the displaced persons.
“The Commission appreciates that the rehabilitation of 51,000 displaced persons was a daunting task and the State Government has by and large done a good job”, NHRC Chairperson, K.G. Balakrishnan said in Lucknow on Friday.
However, it has been pointed out to the State Government that the medical facilities were inadequate and more attention should paid on improving the health and sanitary conditions in the relief camps , Mr. Balakrishnan added.
The three-day camp sitting of the NHRC in the State capital, which ended on Friday included discussions with the State officials on the living conditions in the relief camps for the riot victims in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts.
Evidently, the Commissions findings on the condition of the riot victims in the relief camps — three NHRC teams have visited Muzaffarnagar and Shamli — were at variance with the news reports. It was pointed out by the Commission that the reports pertaining to the relief camps being bulldozed “ were not true”.
Even as the Commission made it known that the three visits by NHRC teams focused on the conditions at the relief camps, Mr. Balkrishnan said the State Government’s version would be verified with the findings of the NHRC reports. “This process will not end, the NHRC will continue to monitor the health and sanitation condition at the camps”, Mr. Balakrishnan told journalists. Present were the NHRC members.
When the NHRC Chairman and members’ attention was drawn to the plight of the displaced riot victims, they said that the Government has been asked to track every individual who was reported to have gone back to their villages, or have settled elsewhere. “Nothing would be taken on face value, we will continue to monitor the relief and rehabilitation exercise”, Mr. Balakrishnan said. Stating that the issue of the rehabilitation of the riots victims was taken up with the State Government, the Commission Chairperson said it was informed that 51,000 persons displaced persons had sought refuge in 58 camps in the immediate aftermath of the violence. He added that the Government told the panel that presently 2600 displaced persons were staying in two camps and some satellite camps.
Besides, the Government was asked by the Commission to assess the cause of the death of 47 persons, including children, in relief camps and give reasonable compensation, as well as protection from cold to persons in the camps. On 13 cases of violence against women, Mr. Balkrishnan said the State was told to expedite action.
Ninety cases of death in police encounter and death in police custody were taken up by the NHRC in its threeday camp sitting. A total amount of Rs. 1.25 crore was recommended to be paid to the next of the kin of the deceased in 25 cases. It also recommended an amount of Rs. 15,000 to be paid to a lady, who was denied admission in a Government hospital in Bahraich and delivered her baby on the roadside. Some NGOs complained about the biased and insensitive nature of the police on crimes against women. The NHRC chief has asked the Government to sensitise the police officers about the new provisions in law related to crimes against women.