Delhi govt. officials accompany riot-hit people to their houses for verification of losses

Women walk past charred vehicles in a riot-affected area of New Delhi on February 27, 2020.

Women walk past charred vehicles in a riot-affected area of New Delhi on February 27, 2020.

On Saturday afternoon, inside the Idgah in Mustafabad , which has doubled up as the largest relief camp for families in riot-hit north-east Delhi , Haji Naim Malik, 47, made an announcement through a hand-held loudspeaker: “Those who have to go to Shiv Vihar for verification should assemble here. There is no need to worry. There is a vehicle and also police protection.”

Vikas Anand, a senior IAS officer, was heard telling a group of women to wait for the vehicle that had been arranged to take the displaced people to Shiv Vihar. Mr. Anand is one of the six IAS officers who have been leading the verification drive since Saturday morning in different areas of north-east Delhi.

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The Delhi government has announced multiple compensations for people whose houses and shops were burnt, ransacked and looted in the communal violence in north-east Delhi . It has already distributed compensation of ₹2.96 crore, according to official figures till Saturday. But with hundreds of people still living in relief camps, the government is finding it difficult to check their locked houses, which is delaying the distribution of compensation.

Two-day drive

To speed up the process, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced on Friday a two-day verification drive, headed by six senior IAS officers. From Saturday morning, vehicles with a police constable have been taking people from various camps, including the one at Idgah, to their houses for the verification.

Once the vehicle carrying the survivors reaches the area, a Sub-Divisional Magistrate goes with the family to the property for verification. “Many were going back to the locality for the first time [after the riots]. This also helped us to show them that shops have reopened, people have started coming back. Now, they have more courage and confidence to return,” said SDM Pradeep Tayal, who was carrying out the verification drive in Shiv Vihar, one of the most affected areas.

The riot-hit families have to first fill up a form to claim compensation, which is followed by the verification.

“Many shops and houses are locked and hence not verified. We are bringing many people from the Idgah camp to their houses in the area. Today we opened and saw many buildings and did the assessment [of the damage]. This will speed up the process of giving compensation,” the SDM said.

“The forms were filled by officials at people’s houses, and also at help desks, relief camps and by NGOs and this led to duplication [of requests]. Now we are creating an authoritative database,” the official said.

Many requests pending

As Mohammad Ahsan, 40, joined a group at the Idgah to go to his ransacked rented house in Shiv Vihar, an official told him, “We are taking the owners of houses and shops today. We will take people who are living on rent tomorrow.”

Mr. Ahsan, a differently abled man, said he fled his house in gali no. 6 of phase 5 in Shiv Vihar where rioters were burning houses and he was scared to go back alone.

Officials said since morning more than 100 people from the camp were taken to the riot-affected areas for verification. But many requests are still pending.

At gali no. 14 in Shiv Vihar, Mumtaz Begum said the SDM was yet to come and verify her house. “The rioters have looted everything. They took out the TV and clothes and burned them outside the house. We need help.”

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 11:15:07 pm |