Lucknow: From the defeat of Samajwadi Party (SP) to the rise of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) led by state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh has seen dramatic changes in the last four years. But, the life for hundreds of families affected by 2013 riots in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli remains the same - the violence left with them no other means than to live in streets, and they remain there even today.
Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts of Uttar Pradesh witnessed one of the worst communal violence in the history of Uttar Pradesh. The violence followed killing of two youths by a mob on August 27, 2013. It was alleged that fake video was used to incite violence against Muslims.
Scores of people were killed and more than 250 villages were affected, forcing hundreds of families to abandon their houses and live in relief camps. Then government headed by the Samajwadi Party (SP) announced a compensation of 500,000 rupees. But till now the families have failed to receive the said amount and are forced to live in streets.
Among them were Imrana and Tahir Zahid, and their children. Amnesty International India in a report released today said they were threatened, attacked and forced to leave their home in Kakra village, and abandon every single possession they ever owned.
“Even if you can’t give us 500,000,” pleads Imrana, “We beg the government to give us at least two or three lakhs."
"At least we can build a house for us to live in. It’s very difficult to run a family of seven, Tahir is always outside trying to find work so that we can survive. My children are hungry most of the time", she added.
Imrana is not alone.
Amnesty International India and AFKAR India Foundation have met more than 200 families in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli who share the same fate.
"These families live in re-settlement colonies where many have no access to electricity, drinking water and sanitation facilities. For four years, these families have been struggling to rebuild their lives", the Amnesty said.
Demanding that the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister ensure aid to families in resettlement colonies for their immediate needs, including housing, water, sanitation and health care, Amnesty International India has started an online petition on its official website. Click here to sign the petition.