IUML gifts 61 houses to families affected by Muzaffarnagar riots

By Shafeeq Hudawi, TwoCircles.net

Kozhikode: The Arabic phrase Baithu Rahma simply means house of mercy. But residents of Manthwara in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh will tell you it stands for mercy, rehabilitation, revival and hope for a new and better world. The phrase was not familiar for them till last day. But, now it has brought a smile to their faces.

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On Thursday, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) handed over 61 houses to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riot victims through its housing scheme called Baithu Rahma. A total of 61 families, who were forced to leave their home following the worst riot in UP in recent times, are now safe at the settlement at Manthwara.

“Words fail to express suffering of the riot victims. They were residing at houses of their relatives, who opened them doors after the bloody clashes,” says IUML national secretary E T Mohammed Basheer.

Started in 2014, the housing project took two and half years to be completed. The party spent Rs. 2.5 crore towards land purchasing and house construction.

As per the official figures, the 2013 riots left more than 50,000 persons displaced while 62 persons were killed and 93 were left with injuries in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts.

On September 17, 2013, a national-level delegation of the party visited the affected areas. Led by national president and the then Minister of States for External Affairs Late E Ahamed, E T Mohammed Basheer M P, Iqbal  Ahammed, Khorrum Anis  Omer and Moulana Kausar Hayat, the team met Muzaffarnagar district administration and visited the refugee camps.

“The camps presented a haunting picture of the humanitarian disaster and we decided to initiate steps to rehabilitate as much as we can,” Basheer said.

Land was purchased in 2013 and work started in 2014. IUML Kerala state committee collected Rs 40 lakh while the rest of the amount was contributed by party’s expatriate outfit Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) from different countries. To add to this, some business persons in Kerala materials like fans, sanitaries, beds and kitchen equipments.

At the initial stage, local residents were suspicious towards the party volunteers working at the settlement. “We could convey them what is going to take place here and they started to cooperate. The works couldn’t be completed without the ardent support that the local people lent us,” says project coordinator Abdul Latheef.

“They were left with no adequate food and accommodation. Still, they were leading life in harmony and extending us all possible help,” said ET Mohammed Basheer.

The entire settlement has been divided in four blocks, which are named after IUML’s leaders Quaid-e-Millath Mohammed Ismail, Ibrahim Sulaiman Sait, G M Banatwala and Syed Abdur Rahman Bafaqi Thangal.

The keys were handed over to the beneficiaries at a function, held at the settlement on Thursday. IUML leaders Panakkad Syed Hyderali Shihab Thangal, K M Kader Moideen and IUML MPs P K Kunhalikutty and P V Abdul Wahab were also present.

The party volunteers here are now taking up efforts to set up a school for the riot victims within the settlement. “Adequate land is available. Our aim is to ensure education with advanced facilities,” Basheer said.

The school will be named after the late IUML leader E Ahamed.