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No money to keep our phones running, how can ISI call us, ask Muzaffarnagar victims
Saturday October 26, 2013 1:07 PM, News Network

Shattered by Rahul Gandhi's remarks that they have become easy targets for Pakistan's secret service ISI and can be used to destabilise the country, the riot victims in Muzaffarnagar said there is no way anyone can contact them as they are short of money to keep their phones running.

"We do not have food to eat, beds to sleep or blankets to ward off the cold and politicians are saying we are getting calls from Pakistan. We don't even have money to keep our phones running. My family and I along with hundreds of others from Kutba have been in this relief camp since September 10. Each day is a struggle, who cares about Pakistani agents," Indian Express quoted Jameel Ahmed as saying.

Jameel Ahmed, who has been living in the Bassikalan relief camp had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul during their visit to riot-hit Muzaffarnagar last month.

He said he had met the leaders with a hope that they would help him regain his livelihood and those named in his FIR would be arrested, and his family would be safe again. But after Rahul Gandhi claimed on Thursday that Pakistani intelligence agents were in touch with victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots, that hope turned to anger and outrage.

Around 252 villages are affected by the riot, and over 100 are killed. Hundreds of people from these villages are still living in different relief camps. Despite losing everything they had till couple of months ago including home, furniture, livestock, shops, bicycles, items collected for marriageable girls and other hard-earned belongings, the victims are refusing to return back to their villages.

"We used to live normally with them with civil ties. But they are not our friends. How could they be, since they allowed the looting and burning of our houses when we were away? Even now, nobody has come to see us or asked us to come back. They are not our friends. 'Hamein yaheen dafan kar do, lekin jaane ko na kaho' (Bury us here but don't ask us to go back)", Salma and Shabnam two sisters who are now living in relief camps with hundreds others pleaded.

Like women, the men folks are also scared and do not gather courage to return back to their homes. "Hum police force ko phone karte rahe lekin koi police nahi aai (we kept calling the police station but no police came to our rescue). Zeher khaa ke marjayenge lekin gao wapis nahi jayenge" (we will have poison and die but not return)", Md Yaseen Saifi of Laakh village said while talking to the team.

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