Centre also files affidavit before Bench

The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday informed the Supreme Court that it had taken a series of steps to restore communal harmony in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar.

Senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the State, informed a Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Ms. Ranjana Desai that the State had filed its compliance affidavit and requested that the matter might be taken up later. Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati also informed the Bench about the Centre filing the affidavit.

Senior counsel Gopal Subramanium, appearing for petitioners, Mohd. Haroon and others, said they would file their response and accordingly the Bench posted the matter to Thursday.

The Uttar Pradesh government said “since the outbreak of communal violence in the affected areas, it has issued several orders providing necessary guidelines and facilitation, in order that district officials may provide speedy and effective relief measures, as also monetary assistance to those affected, while fostering communal harmony.” “The State government has issued directions to District Magistrates of all districts in Saharanpur and Meerut Divisions to evaluate the damage to movable and immovable property, including houses and places of worship, and work out an estimate for reconstruction of the same.”

Uttar Pradesh said Rs. 10 lakh had been distributed to the families of those killed in the violence and Rs. 50,000 provided to seriously injured and Rs. 20,000 to those with simple injuries. “The Commissioner, Saharanpur Division, has been designated the nodal officer for providing relief and rehabilitation.”

In its affidavit, the Centre said, “Orders had been issued on September 7 for deployment of 50 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces in Muzaffarnagar. On September 9, an additional 28 companies were deployed.”

It said “there are 26,909 stranded persons in Muzaffarnagar and 14,920 in Shamli.”

While requesting the State Chief Secretary to take immediate steps to provide relief and rehabilitation to the people stranded and those who had lost their houses, the Centre said Rs. 2 lakh assistance had been released in death cases and Rs. 50,000 for the critically injured.