NHRC commends Uttar Pradesh rehabilitation of riot victims

Special Correspondent
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Reports of relief camps being bulldozed “are not true”

NHRC Chairperson K.G. Balakrishnan addressing a press conference in Lucknow on Friday.- Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury
NHRC Chairperson K.G. Balakrishnan addressing a press conference in Lucknow on Friday.- Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

The Samajwadi Party government may have been condemned for the plight of the Muzaffarnagar and Shamli communal riot victims but it has won accolades from the National Human Rights Commission for rehabilitation of the displaced.

“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 on Friday.

However, the NHRC pointed out to it that medical facilities were inadequate and more attention should be paid to improving sanitary conditions in the camps, Justice Balakrishnan said at the end of a three-day camp sitting here. Evidently, the Commission findings on the condition of the riot victims in the camps — three NHRC teams have visited Muzaffarnagar and Shamli — were at variance with news reports. The Commission said reports of the relief camps being bulldozed “were not true”.

Three visits by the teams focussed on the conditions in the relief camps. Justice Balakrishnan said the government version would be verified with the findings in the NHRC reports. “This process will not end; the NHRC will continue to monitor the health and sanitary conditions at the camps,” he told journalists.

When their attention was drawn to the plight of the displaced riot victims, the Chairman and members said the government had been asked to track every individual who was reported to have gone back to his/her village or to have settled down elsewhere. “Nothing would be taken at face value, we will continue to monitor the relief and rehabilitation exercise,” said Justice Balakrishnan.

Pointing out that the Commission took up with the government the issue of rehabilitation, he said it was informed that 51,000 displaced persons sought refuge in 58 camps in the immediate aftermath of the violence, and that at present 2,600 persons were staying in two camps and some satellite camps.

The government was asked to identify the cause of death of 47 persons, including children, in relief camps and give their families reasonable compensation, as well as protect the inmates against cold.

Violence against women

On 13 cases of violence against women, Justice Balakrishnan said the State was told to expedite action.

Ninety cases of death in police encounter and in police custody were taken up by the NHRC. A total amount of Rs. 1.25 crore was recommended to be paid to the next of kin of the deceased in 25 cases, and Rs. 15,000 to a woman who was delivered of her baby on the roadside after denial of admission to a government hospital in Bahraich.

Some NGOs complained about that the police were biased and insensitive to crimes against women. The NHRC chief asked the government to sensitise police officers to the new provisions in law.

  • However, medical facilities and sanitation are inadequate

  • Nothing will be taken at face value, monitoring will continue: NHRC chief

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