The hardships in the appalling relief camps spread across Muzaffarnagar district in western UP for riot victims have left many in utter dismay.
Faraway in Haryana’s Hisar district, a relatively similar predicament grips several dozens of riot-hit Dalit families who have never returned to their homes even three years after the riots in Mirchpur village.
This is their third winter in make shift camps under extreme biting cold conditions that these victims will be forced to spent. Around 60 children and nearly two dozen elders have been living in the camp within a farmhouse in the district. Many of them returned to their village months after the riots, yet a sizable lot refused to return fearing a repeat of 2010 caste-based riot in the village.
That ill-fated day on Aril 21, 2010, a group of upper caste Jat youth torched houses of Dalit families in Mirhcpur village spreading chaos and fear. The incident was provoked over a minor scuffle. Tara Chand, 70, and his physically challenged teenage daughter were killed in the riot.
The 120-odd Dalit families in the village fled towards Delhi out of fear, some still in fear of being targeted in case they return. Malha Devi, one of elderly women staying in the camp, says the winter chill is unbearable for her ailing old body. Their tents have worn out over the years. The Dalits are demanding adequate rehabilitation.
Early this month, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was apprised of the hardships of the Dalit families staying in the camps in Haryana during a meeting convened in New Delhi.
Activist Rajat Kalsan highlighted the issue of Mirchpur victims.
A petition seeking relief and rehabilitation for the victims of riots is pending before the Apex court. Kalsan pointed out the alleged apathy of the state government in getting the families to return.
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