Civil society seeks rehabilitation of riot victims

Lucknow, Jan 6 (IANS) A petition was submitted Monday to the Uttar Pradesh and central governments by a group of activists and NGOs demanding justice and compensation to survivors of the Muzaffarnagar riots.

The petition urged the authorities to ensure the safety of people and property in the region by setting up police posts in the vicinity of areas affected by the September violence that claimed over 60 lives.
It also demanded that relief camps in the riot-hit areas should be allowed to operate until all those displaced from their homes are settled in new and suitable locations.
The state government was duty bound to operate the relief camps and ensure a single window system to complete all administrative formalities regarding compensation, rehabilitation and other issues, it said.
This window must also take care of issues such as banking facilities, restoring identity documents, certificates, ration cards and passports and also ensure speedy disposal of insurance and other claims.
The petition said the state government must establish conditions so that people forced to flee their villages can return to a normal life.
The state government was urged to initiate a joint reconciliation process involving riot survivors as well as the civil society and NGOs.
The petition was followed by a programme held under the aegis of the Joint Citizens Initiative – an umrella group of groups including Rehnuma, Humsafar, Sanatkada Samajik Pehel (Lucknow) and Astitva (Muzaffarnagar).
Survivors of the Muzaffarnagar riots also demanded that the FIRs lodged against rioters be followed up in right earnest. They sought their arrest, and legal aid to the victims be to fight their cases.