People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 01

January 05, 2014






Riot Victims’ Condition still Pathetic in Camps


Subhashini Ali


ON December 24, 2013, CPI(M) genera secretary Prakash Karat met the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, along with Subhashini Ali, and gave him a memorandum in connection with the problems being faced by the riot victims in Muzaffarnagar and also with regard to some urgent issues that need to be resolved. The memorandum was based on the inputs provided by CPI(M) representatives who have been regularly visiting Muzaffarnagar.  Some of the facts that were placed before the chief minister were as below.




There are reports of several persons, including girl children, going missing. Since more than two months have passed since the violent incidents, it can be assumed that these persons are not alive. The families and dependants are being denied compensation and have been told that they will have to wait for seven years before their claims could be considered. This is most unfair and unjust. During the 1992 riots in Kanpur, there were claims made by five families of their sons/husbands having been killed whose bodies were never recovered. At that time president’s rule was in force. When an elected government took office in 1995, all the five families were given compensation after they furnished affidavits that in case these persons came back they would return the compensation amount.  Similarly, after the terrible natural disaster in Uttarakhand, missing persons’ compensation was paid to their dependants on the same terms. This should be done in Muzaffarnagar too.


In this connection the CPI(M) memorandum gave is a list of 12 such persons, adding that it is not in any way exhaustive:

1) Nafees Ahmad, village Thoda, PS Ratanpuri

2) Nazir Ahmad, village Kataka, PS Jansath

3) Nisar Ahmad, village Kishenpur, PS Bhopa

4) Jumma, village Hadauli, PS Bahaura Kalan

5) Rehana (minor), village and PS Phugana

6) Rafiq, village and PS Phugana

7) Shaheena village and PS Phugana

8) Shaukeen, village Bilaspur, PS Nai Mandi Kotwali

9) Asma, Mohalla Kidwainagar, PS Kotwali City

10) Waseem, Mohalla Krishnapuri, PS Kotwali City

11) Asif s/o Hayat, village Niyazipuri, PS Kotwali City

12) Anil, village Nagla Kabeer, PS Bhopa


In the Jaula camp, there is a young boy of 13 or 14 years, Sabir, whose father Azharuddin and step-mother Amino were burnt to death at Lisadh on September 8. He has received no compensation at all. The CPI(M) urged the chief minister to intervene in this matter.




There is a general feeling that many who are accused of rape and murder are walking around freely. Some of the murder accused have been released on bail but as far as those accused of rape are concerned, they have not been arrested till date. Some details are given below:


1) 3 FIRs lodged on September 20 under CrPC 376.

2) 3 FIRs lodged on September 24 under CrPC 376 and 376A.

3) FIR lodged on November 4 under CrPC 376 and 376 A.


All these cases have occurred in Phugana village under the police station (PS) Phugana




Thousands of Muslim families fled their homes and their villages either after they were attacked or when the fear of imminent attack impelled them to do so. They were given shelter in more than 20 camps (large and small) which were organised and manned by volunteers from social organisations. The state government provided rations, milk and medicines for about two weeks but stopped this about two months ago. Doctors do visit sporadically but there is a complete lack of medical attention and medicines. In one camp at Jaula, more than 50 babies were born in this period without any assistance from the government medical service providers. The deliveries were done either by women in the camps or, in a few cases, in private nursing homes. 


In recent days, the state government has intensified its efforts to remove people from the camps. Even force is being used to do this.  The state government is justifying its actions on two counts: 1) many of the victims have received Rs 5 lakh as compensation that has been given to take care of their rehabilitation, and 2) the state government does not want them to remain in tents, out of doors since newspaper reports of children dying of cold etc have been appearing. Unfortunately, the state government has not made any satisfactory arrangements for rehousing those whom it wants to remove from the camps and the rehabilitation amount is not such that it can immediately provide alternative housing. There are many other difficulties connected with accessing this amount.  One common complaint is that it is paid to only the person identified as ‘head’ of the family despite the fact that this person has one or more sons who have been living with their own families. Another problem is that many people have not been able to file FIRs regarding destruction of their property and homes because they were too terrified to go to their respective police stations. There should be provision made for registration of FIRs at a central place designated by the administration.


On December 7, the district administration forcibly entered and evacuated a camp at village Dhandera, PS Sikheda.  About 25 families were left without shelter. Many of them lost their cots and tents because the administration took them away.  No alternative accommodation was provided to them. After this, the administration entered the camp at Loi, PS Phugana, where there are about 400 families, and tried to evict them. They were told that they would be taken to a school in Kalyanpur. Apparently, there are already a number of families here. They were given no assurance as to how long they would be permitted to stay there and under what conditions. One can imagine their refusal to leave. At least in Loi, the camp organisers were providing them with food and some other essentials and with some sense of security. When the administration’s attempts at persuasion and even its threats failed, they left the camp but said that eviction would take place in a few days. This should not be allowed at any cost. Just a month ago there were nearly 5000 people in the same camp. It is obvious that no one who is not compelled to go wants to stay there. The people who are there have nowhere else to go and they must be allowed to stay there for as long as it is necessary.


The chief minister assured us that he would ensure that no victims were forcible removed from the camps and that the families of missing persons were paid compensation. He also said that the government would adopt a liberal attitude towards payment of compensation and that the fact that the needs of individual families with a common elder would be kept in mind. He issued some instructions to this effect to concerned officials. He did not, however, give any assurance regarding the arrests of those accused of rape.




The present writer visited Muzaffarnagar on December 27 and 28. On the 27th, along with the CPI(M) district secretary and district committee members, I visited the homes of several persons belonging to both communities, who had been killed on August 27 and then on September 7, the day of the mahapanchayat. These were the incidents to which the terrible attacks on members of the minority community that occurred on September 8 are attributed.  The mahapanchayat was held very close to the villages to which the three boys who died on August 27 belonged. Thousands, mostly Jat peasants, attended this mahapanchayat in their tractor trolleys. Many of them were brandishing weapons and shouting provocative anti-Muslim slogans. Some incidents of stone-throwing occurred at this time. After the mahapanchayat, during which the most atrocious hate-speeches were made by BJP MLAs and others, those returning to their villages attacked Muslims and were in turn attacked by Muslim villagers in stray incidents, in the course of which nearly 12 people belonging to both communities lost their lives and many tractors were burnt. Despite these killings and clashes, there was no further violence or arson in this entire area after September 7. The horrific events of large-scale killings, maiming, rapes, arson and forcible eviction of Muslims from their homes and villages from September 8 morning onwards occurred in a group of villages on both sides of the border that divides Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts --- including Lisadh, Phugana, Kutba-Kutbi, Lank, Sisauli etc. Some incidents occurred in Baghpat also.


Meeting the family members of those killed on September 7 was extremely disturbing. The grief of the bereaved family members and the helplessness of widows and mothers and young children have remained unchanged in the three months that had elapsed and they are extremely bitter about those who belong to the community responsible for the killing. What is amazing, however, is the fact that these very people did not succumb to desire for revenge.  Some of them were encouraged by others to attack members of the other community living in their villages – and in all these villages, those killed belonged to the dominant community and the number of families of the other community are very small – but not only did they refrain from doing so but they convinced others to do the same. All these villages have remained completely peaceful but polarisation and suspicion, however, are widespread and are being constantly reinforced both by communal elements and administrative lapses. It is important for the CPI(M) to make every attempt to constantly engage with these people and to involve as many other groups and individuals as possible in this effort.


On December 28, we revisited the camps at Loi and Jaula. At Jaula we were able to intervene on behalf of 135 families from Hasanganj mauza of Lisadh, whose houses had been destroyed but who had not received compensation. The concerned officers responded positively and assured us that the compensation would be paid. The CPI(M) Relief Committee is trying to work with the Jaula Camp Committee to provide pucca shelters to as many of the riot-hit as possible. We are hopeful that the details will be finalised this month.


At Loi we saw some families leaving the camp with all their belongings. We met administrative officers at the camp who were trying to convince the victims to shift to (promised) pucca shelters where the government would provide amenities including rations and medicines. We told the administrators that they would have to give a written assurance that no one would be forcibly evicted from here and they agreed to this. Apparently, some shifting is now taking place. According to the camp organisers whom we talked to after our visit, this is being done peacefully but, of course, given the terrible weather conditions and the suspicion with which the administration is viewed those involved are feeling very insecure and fearful.


At Loi we also saw the first attempt being made by the administration to try and help villagers from Kharad village who had fled their homes because of fear but who had not been harmed and whose houses were safe to return to their homes. Some of their Jat neighbours had also come to assure them that they would not be harmed in any way. Muslim landowners from this village have already gone back in order to harvest their cane. We have been told that there has been some positive response to this effort.


As far as medical help and provision of rations and milk is concerned, the position is unchanged and there is nothing being done by the government in these areas. The problem of rehabilitation is still daunting since compensation has not been paid to many affected people and the process of seeing that justice is done and that murderers and rapists are arrested has not even begun even three months after the rioting. 


Dependants or family members of those killed have been promised one government job per family. We tried to find out if these jobs were actually being given. While some family members have been given jobs, none of them are women. This is a matter of concern because many of the Muslim widows could be rendered completely destitute. We discussed this with our comrades and also with those involved in relief work, and said that the widows should be encouraged to take up jobs wherever this was possible. This is something we need to constantly monitor.


We also visited camps in Shamli. Malakpur is a very large camp with several thousand people. Nearby are smaller camps at Mandwada with a few hundreds. The process of rehabilitation and compensation is not at all satisfactory here.


While we were in Muzaffarnagar, the divisional commissioner submitted his report accepting that 32 children had died in the camps. He insisted that they died of pneumonia which might have been caused by the cold. The home secretary of the state then went on to make an atrocious statement that no one could die of cold because if they did, there would be no one alive in Siberia. What is important is that the government must compensate for these deaths and ensure that no more occur.


The CPI(M) Relief Committee has distributed blankets and quilts in the camps. We also provided widows with sewing machines. Many of the riot victims are craftsmen and daily labourers so party workers have tried to provide them with tools of their trades. They have decided to concentrate now on the construction of homes for as many as possible.