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Muzaffarnagar Muslims still in refugee camps: Majlis-e-Mushawarat
Tuesday November 26, 2013 8:07 PM, IANS

A number of Muslims who fled their homes following the communal violence in September in western Uttar Pradesh are still in refugee camps, a Muslim group said Tuesday.

Most of them had been left to fend for themselves by the authorities and were "living in plastic tents which are unable to withstand the harsh cold weather and rains", the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat said.

"The camps woefully lack toilets and hygienic conditions. Only scanty and irregular government aid has reached these people. Ration too reaches them intermittently and in insufficient quantities," it said.

Leaders of the Majlis, an umbrella body Indian Muslim organisations, visited the camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts Nov 20 -- for the fourth time since the violence left some 60 people dead.

The delegation distributed 300 woollen duvets and mattresses each so some of the families.

The delegation found that these camps also housed people from far-away districts like Saharanpur and Meerut from where too Muslims fled following communal tensions.

The refugees should be settled on private land purchased for the purpose, the statement said.

The Majlis said that most people were not accepting the Uttar Pradesh government's offer of Rs.5 lakh compensation to victims from select villages which saw worst violence, murders, rapes and violence.

"To get even this compensation, the victims are required to sign an affidavit under which they agree to relinquish their movable and immovable properties in their villages and agree not to return to their erstwhile homes and also leave the present camps at the same time, it said.

"This compensation is limited to the families of nine villages while the camps house refugees from some 200 villages."

The delegation found that the refugees were in urgent need of water-proof tents, blankets and mattresses.

"But their paramount need is land of their own where they can pitch their tents and start building their small dwellings to live fearlessly because the owners of the private land and the forest department will soon start pressurising them to leave their present places."


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