Leaders visit Muzaffarnagar riot victims

Press Release / New Delhi / 17 September 2013
A delegation led by Popular Front of India chairman K. M. Shareef toured the riot hit Uttar Pradesh district of Murzaffarnagar and visited on 16th September the victims who are sheltered in different villages away from their homes. The delegation included among others, Popular Front general secretary O. M. A. Salam, National Executive Council members E. M. Abdul Rahiman, Muhammed Roshan, Western U. P. President Moulana Muhammad Shadab, Social Democratic Party of India former national president E. Abubacker, national secretariat members M. K. Faizy, Naushad Punnakkal and All India Imams Council national vice president Moulana ifthikarullah. The victims from different affected villages narrated before the visiting team their horrible experiences at the hands of communally frenzied mobs constituted by their own neighbours who acted at the behest of outside leaders. The team members also held discussions with the local community leaders in the refugee camps and villages that are giving shelter to their hapless fellow beings.

Though only 48 deaths are officially confirmed, as per the reports collected from victims the number will be around 200 and it may raise even up to 400 once the attempts to locate the missing persons are completed. The same is the case with the number of Muslims who are driven away from their villages. Contrary to the official figures released by the district administration that are much lower than the actual, there are around 70,000 people who are presently living in different refugee camps and in the houses arranged in various places. There are about 60 such places where the victims are temporarily sheltered. And these arrangements are made not by the government, but by local Mohallas and Masjid/Madrasa committees. The visiting team has appreciated the local families who have accepted their brothers and sisters in their own homes. In a gathering at Nangla village panchayat hall where 600 people are housed, E. Abubacker stated that through the noble act of sheltering those who approached them as refugees, they have recreated the history of Ansar in Madina who sheltered the Muhajireen, came along with Prophet Muhammad from Makkah to Madina.
The delegation has interacted with the inmates and organisers of the refugee camp at Muslim dominated Jaula village, which is managing the largest number of refugees. Around 15,000 people, driven away from their homes, reached this village. A team of elderly leaders and youngsters are seen at work, arranging to accommodate the refugee families as guests in local Muslim families. In a gathering arranged by local leaders at the refugee camp, Popular Front chairman K. M. Shareef outlined the activities being chalked out by organisation for the riot hit people. He told that our team of volunteers have started surveying the basic needs that still remain unattended. Based on the survey report, relief activities will start immediately. K. M. Shareef pointed out that the victims who are engulfed in fear cannot think of going back to their homes at present. But it is the responsibility of the government to release the captured village homes from criminal gangs and provide security to the victims in their own homes. Popular Front general secretary O.M. A. Salam has emphasised the importance of legal redress including punishing of the culprits and promised support of an advocates’ team to fight the cases.

Later on the same day, Popular Front central secretariat met at its headquarters in New Delhi and an outline of the proposed relief activities was prepared. A Relief Committee and a Volunteer Team were constituted to engage in Muzaffarnagar relief and rehabilitation works.

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