Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Humanity is crying at Muzaffarnagar's riot relief camp

On 21st December, 2013 I along with Shruti Nagvanshi(Convenor: Voice of People), Major Dr. Himanshu(A famous social activist) and Taj Muhammad (PVCHR staff) visited the camp in Islamic Madarsa at Shahpur of Muzzafarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, India and found the condition of the camp is quite pathetic and the inhumane act with the 42 families of survivors of communal riot. But in night of 22 December they were forced by the Madarsas administration to vacate the place due to the pressure of the administration. In the camp around 15 people from three villages Sisauli, Shoram and Goyala were residing which is famous for the Khap panchayat. It is noted that Sisauli village is resident of famous Jat leader. So, district administration does not want to identify the 15 families of survivors of above mentioned three villages as survivors of communal riot.  These survivors belong to lower caste Muslim and mostly working as labour in brick kiln factory. Now 5 pregnant women are living, 3 new born child are dead due to cold and no-treatment. I was shocked after listening their testimonies of pain, agony, apathy of administration and in human treatment through organized violence. Women told their story of sexual assault through making naked and verbal abuses in front of masses. A girl of Dulehara is missing.    
It is noted that the first incident of gang-rape came to light in the aftermath of the riots from the village of Fugana in Jogiya Kheda. Two fresh cases of rape were registered in October. It was reported on 15 November 2013 that a total of 13 rape cases and sexual harassment were registered over the past two months of rioting and the report named 111 people in the incidents but no arrests had been made till then.

Before our visit, National Human Rights Commission started spot visit of Muzzafarnagr and Shamali relive camp. After our visit, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on 22 December 2013 lamented the "deplorable" conditions at the relief camps housing hundreds of riot affected families of Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas, and asked the "young" chief minister of Uttar Pradesh to improve the situation.

"Many children have died in the camps. The situation is deplorable... There is a need to mediate and improve life there," Rahul said as he made an unscheduled visit to the relief camps and some of the violence-hit areas. The Congress leader, who is seeking to revive the party's fortunes after its drubbing in the recent Assembly elections, also targeted Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav over his handling of the relief work. "There is a young chief minister. The state government should improve the situation. The CM should look into it."

According to different reliable sources, fresh battle lines are being drawn in Muzaffarnagar’s rural areas as Muslims and Jats harden respective stances against the local administration’s “inefficient and unfair action” in dealing with communal violence in the past three months.

Three panchayats — one Muslim and two Jat — took place on Friday though the administration had banned these after Jats returning from a Mahapanchayat on September 7 were attacked at various villages. On September 8, Jats killed over 50 Muslims in retaliation and the violence hasn’t stopped ever since.
On Thursday night, a police party went to Kutba village to arrest those responsible for the September 8 violence but the villagers fired at it, damaging at least six police vehicles. Six Muslims had been killed in Kutba on September 8.

Another panchayat took place in Hussainpur, where three Muslim boys were killed on Wednesday. It demanded the killers’ arrest and a `25 lakh compensation to the families.

At Mohammadpurraisingh village, where the third meeting was held, the panchayat said it might convene a bigger panchayat on November 6.
Interestingly, the meeting called all communities, including Muslims, to join the November 6 gathering.

Clashes between two communities in Shamli and Muzaffarnagar, India began 27 August 2013. The original cause of the rioting is disputed, by partisan claims largely concerning the affected communities. In this case, the cause of this rioting alternates between a traffic accident and eve-teasing. According to the first version, a minor traffic accident involving some youths and then spiralled out of control when it eventually took on religious overtones. In the second version, a girl from the Hindu Jat community was allegedly harassed in an Eve-teasing incident by one Muslim youth in Kawal village. In retaliation, Hindu relatives of the girl in question, Sachin Singh and Gaurav Singh, killed the youth named Shahnawaz Qureshi. The two brothers were lynched by a Muslim mob when they tried to escape. The police arrested eleven members of the girl's family for the killing of the Muslim youth. According to some locals, the police did not act against the killers of the Hindu brothers. According to police records, Gaurav and Sachin picked a fight with Shahnawaz over a motorcycle accident. While it has been widely reported that the fight was sparked off when Shahnawaz harassed Gaurav and Sachin’s cousin sister, the FIR in the murder makes no mention of sexual harassment or molestation.

NDTV carried a contradictory report on the Kawwal village incident. The girl who was allegedly harassed by Shahnawaz commented that she had not gone to Kalwal or known anybody by name of Shahnawaz, but she indicated that harassment by Muslim youth were common in Kawwal. There were no mentions of harassment in police records on that particular day. Shahnawaz's father claims that the problem started when their vehicles collided. In the FIR registered for Shahnawaz's death, five people along with Sachin and Gaurav were named to be responsible for his death. The reports mentions that the seven men entered Shahnawaz home, took him out and killed him with swords and knives. Shahnawaz had later died on the way to hospital. In the FIR registers for Sachin and Gaurav's death, 7 other men were reported to be responsible, with the root cause to be an altercation between a person named as Mujassim and Gaurav after a bike accident.

After news of the killings spread, the members of both communities attacked each other. The police took possession of the three dead bodies, and temporarily brought the situation under control. The authorities also deployed Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel in the village.

BJP MLA Sangeet Som was arrested and received bail for alleged involvement in fake video uploading case depicting Hindu youth brutally murdered by Muslim mob and making provocative speeches.

After visit of camp, I remembered the remark of Edmund Burke on India, “In that Country the law of religion, the laws of the land, and the law of honour, are all united and consolidated in one, and bind a man eternally to the rule of what is called his caste.”

My kind request to Government at provincial and central level for immediate shelter under right to life with dignity guarantee under article 21 of the constitution of India, and immediately ensure permanent pro-survivor rehabilitation based on hope, honor and human dignity as a normal life through ensure to recognize voice of voiceless survivor.

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