Dozens of families, who lost their homes and livelihood in the
communal riot which broke out in this North Maharashtra town
exactly a month before on January 6, sans the government
compensation are living either with relatives or in the damaged
premises literally under an inhuman condition.
Without sufficient food and other
basic facilities, the worst hit due to the state government's
languorous approach are the "once school going" children specially
those who are in class 10 and face board exams a fortnight later.
Mashkoor Khan (38) is among the
victims who lost in the violence not only his shop but his entire
house was ransacked by the violent mob on the fateful Sunday
when riot broke out in the city after a minor scuffle over
non-payment of a food-bill.
Living with his relatives since
then, Mashkoor - owner of a footwear shop till a month before, is now under tremendous pressure as the government
officials have no answer to his query of when and how he will get
the compensation announced by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan a
month after the riot.
"A month is a very long time.
It has 30 days. It is nightmarish for us to spend even a day", he
said while talking to ummid.com looking helplessly at the debris
of his damaged house.
Same is the case with the family of
Mukhtar Ahmed Mohd Hasan. He was running a 'Wada Pav' stall just
outside his house till January 06, the day violence broke out. A
month before the riot, he had renovated the house using the money
saved during the past few years. In the name of the house, what he
has been left with now is just four walls completely blackened by
"There is no way for us to run our
wada pav stall as of now. We are living with relatives and our
first priority is to repair our damaged house so that we can shift
there", he said.
The situation is more terrifying for
the school going children, especially the SC students who are
facing exams in few weeks time. Along with their house, their
uniforms, textbooks and notebooks everything was set on fire.
“My textbooks contained important
points written in the margins and my notebooks were ideal for
fellow classmates. What can be more painful than the fact that the
materials I had maintained with so much hard work would be ruined
in such a way and I would be forced to borrow books and notes from
friends at the time of exam”, said Khatik Shirin Yusuf, a SSC
Shirin is not the lone sufferer in
the strife hit city. Samreen Iqbal and Shah Rukh Haneef – both in
class-10 like Shirin, share with her the pain and anguish brutally
unleashed on them just one and half month before the SSC exams.
Disturbed by the state government’s
languorous approach and the time it is taking to disburse the
compensation amount, local residents accused the government of
being ignorant of the sufferings of the victims.
They also accused the government of
mocking the guidelines on providing aid to people affected by
communal violence as outlined in the Prime Minister’s 15-Point
“The government leaves no stone unturned and spends huge amount to
showcase the Prime Minister’s 15-point program. Situation in Dhule
and sufferings of the victims demand its immediate implementation.
People here are living outside their damaged houses in chilling
cold. Students are unable to attend the classes. Yet the
government is not doing anything” Masood Ahmed, a local resident,
who helped the victims in completing the loss assessment said.
“It is not only intimidating but a
mockery of the Prime Minister’s much publicised program”, he
Out of the 15 points in the Prime Minister’s flagship program
announced in 2006, three points are devoted to preventing communal
violence, and in case of such an eventuality, providing immediate
relief to the victims.
Interestingly, a workshop was also
held in Dhule in December last - barely a month before the riot,
by the state government to sensitise the local officials about the
According to the loss assessment
report submitted to the government, residential and commercial
premises worth 1,37,52,650 rupees belonging to some 133 people had
been looted, burnt or damaged besides leaving six persons dead and
more than 200 others injured in the violence that broke out in the
city on January 06.
“We have completed the survey of 133 people who have suffered
losses in the violence. Out of them, shops and homes belonging to
29 people were found completely damaged”, Dhule city Tahsildar
Shivkumar M. Awalkanthe, who led the eight different teams of
local officials to complete the assessment, said.
He said though they had submitted the report to the state
government, they were yet to receive any amount or guideline on
“No disbursement has been made so
far to any riot victim as we are still waiting for the necessary
directives and guidelines from the state”, he said.