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NHRC appreciates UP govt for post-riot rehabilitation of victims
Friday January 17, 2014 11:20 PM, IANS

Facing flak over its handling of the post-riot rehabilitation of riot survivors in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli, the Uttar Pradesh government Friday got a back-handed pat from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The panel appreciated the rehabilitation exercise for 51,000 displaced persons, saying it was a daunting task and the Akhilesh Yadav government had done a "good job".

However, NHRC officials also said there was room for improvement as the medical facilities and camps were inadequate. The state government also admitted that 47 people, including children, have died in the camps till Dec 3, 2013.

The commission asked the state government to look into the cause of death of these people and give reasonable compensation to the bereaved families besides ensuring proper and adequate protection against the cold to the riot-affected staying in the camps.

It directed the state government to pay compensation of Rs.1.25 crore in 25 cases, including police encounters and deaths in police custody.

The panel heard 90 cases and said the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department needed to considerably improve its investigation of encounters and custodial deaths.

The commission explained to police officers that while criminals might be a menace to society, the rule of law must prevail.

It recommended an amount of Rs.15,000 for a woman denied admission to a Bahraich government hospital and who delivered her baby by the roadside. The NHRC also interacted with some non-government organisations (NGOs) who complained the police was insensitive and biased against women.

An NGO that gave shelter to a victim of sexual assault complained the accused attacked its office and forcibly took away two female workers. It added that despite the police being informed, no action was taken against the perpetrators.

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