NCM report on Muzaffarnagar riots too flaks UP Govt

    NCM has also recommend speedy rehabilitation of the affected on the lines of the proposed Communal and Targeted Violence Bill.

    By Staff Reporter,

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    New Delhi: The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has flaked the Uttar Pradesh Government for mishandling of the rising communal tensions that resulted in the death of about 47 persons and displacement of about 50000 people.

    It also pointed to the pressing need of training of Uttar Pradesh police in countering false propaganda and rumours through new forms of technology, and urged that every district is expected to have a riot control scheme, which is required to be regularly updated.

    After a series of fact finding report on the Muzaffarnagar riots by civil society groups, the NCM team, comprising of the Chairman, Mr Wajahat Habibullah and all members Mr K.N Daruwalla, Dr Ajaib Singh and Mt T. N. Shanoo visited riot affected villages in Muzaffarnagar district on 19th September to get a first-hand account of the events as well as to inspect the relief camps and look at the rehabilitation measures.

    The report has come down heavily on the inept handling of the whole situation that allowed the situation to aggravate. In its conclusion, the NCM report observed, “The immediate transfers of DM and SP within hours of the incidents at Village Kawaal, seem hasty and appear to have been detrimental to the law and order situation.”

    It pointed out that the Mahapanchayat at Nangla Mandaur should not have been allowed, although the administration was at pains to explain its inability to prevent it, despite engaging with the Jat leadership. The NCM report regarded such an explanation as “unacceptable,” although it agreed with the administration that the Jats were highly agitated and a confrontation between them and the police could have seen considerable blood spillage.

    The report also criticises the local politicians for participating in the Mahapanchayat, saying, “It is regrettable that MLAs addressed the gathering and did precious little to calm passions.”

    Pointing at the complete failure of the local administration, the report says, “Jats were very angry with the State Govt., blaming it for being one sided, tying the hands of the police, and manoeuvring FIRs against the Jats. The Muslims on the other hand complained of failure of the administration to protect them, and indeed of police hostility, migrants among them insisting that they be resettled away from their home villages.”

    It has also welcome the Commission of Enquiry announced by the Government but urged that the same should begin functioning immediately and set itself a deadline (say three months) for submitting a report.

    It demanded that the two additional SP’s and about 30 Inspectors and SI’s who are being deputed as part of a special investigating team to investigate the cases should be given a deadline to complete investigations so that the guilty are brought to account and compensation dispensed to those deserving.

    Pointing to sloppy investigations and reports of various entities following major communal clashes, the NCM team said, “It is imperative that investigation be thorough and no offender whatever his community or social standing be allowed to walk free. Only such accountability can help restore confidence so tragically eroded in the whole region.”

    recommend speedy rehabilitation of the affected, preferably on the lines recommended under the Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, which is yet to become law, but can be used as a

    The NCM report also appreciated the adherence to the call of duty by DYSP Shailendra Lal, CO who ordered firing at a mob that was trying to torch houses and kill Muslims cowering in houses in village Kutuba, and recognised the instances of some Pradhans trying to bring about harmony by assuring safety for members of communities constituting a minority in their panchayat who had fled the village to relief camps.

    Urging the state administration to create a sense of security and confidence for the return of those displaced out of threat, the report said, “For such migrants who have suffered loss of life or property, and who informed us that they recognise their assaulters, it will be necessary that those suspected of criminal acts are proceeded against in an open and transparent manner, so that migrants can regain their confidence.”

    According to NCM report, there are 41 relief camps across the District of Muzaffarnagar with 4700 families consisting of 27,192 persons as on 19/8/2013. The camps were predominantly Muslim, mainly the landless –weavers (bunker) and self-employed artisans who paint on cloth bed sheets, lohars etc.

    The Commission had decided to visit the riot affected Muzaffarnagar and Shamli in UP after a petition from a number of residents of those districts, a delegation of whom from the districts of Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Baghpat, Meerut and Saharanpur, led by Advocate Supreme Court Naushad Ahmad Khan, Anis Ex-Minister (Minorities) State of Maharashtra called on the NCM on 10/9/2013 forenoon.

    They had pointed to about 200 deaths, but when the NCM team enquired with the local administration, they pointed out that no list of missing persons is with the administration, which could give rise to the suspicion that such persons were dead.

    The total number of persons in camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts was reported to be 50,180, of which 16,000 are in camps in Shamli, which are smaller in number but denser in population.

    Muzaffarnagar riot victims

    On suspicion by local Jat villagers that in many villages Muslims fled on promises of reward in rehabilitation by political elements wishing to exploit the situation, NCM Chairperson Wajahat Habibullah pointed to the apprehension of the Muslim community leading to their flight from the village was understandable in the backdrop of the outbreak of violence.

    “They needed to be reassured of their security before they would agree to return,” he said, adding that the law should take its course all those guilty of perpetrating violence, irrespective of community.

    NCM has also recommend speedy rehabilitation of the affected “preferably on the lines recommended under the Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, which is yet to become law, but can be used as a guideline.”

    Full report