Leave relief camps and go back home, Rahul tells riot victims

Muzaffarnagar/Shamli (Uttar Pradesh), Dec 22: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Sunday paid a surprise visit to camps housing victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots and urged them to return to their homes.

Interacting with inmates at the relief camps in Malakpur area of Shamli, he said that by not returning to their homes and staying put in the relief camps set up by the state government they were inadvertently helping those who instigated the mob violence.

“In such a situation where you fear to go back home you are helping the perpetrators of the crimes for what they did to you,” he observed.

Gandhi was, however, told by the camp inmates that they were not ready to go back home as they feared being targeted by the people of the other community. In his interactions with the riot victims at the Khurgan camp, he met with similar reactions to his request that they go back.

Congress general secretary and state in charge Madhusudan Mistry, who accompanied Gandhi, accused the Akhilesh Yadav government of failing to not only provide security to the people or take action against rioters but also alleged that the state had miserably failed to provide food, water, sanitation facilities and warm clothings for people, specially women and children living in the camps.

More than 3,500 people continue to live in these camps set up after the Muzaffarnagar riots three months back that left more than 63 people dead and over 43,000 homeless.

The state government has come under heavy fire from the opposition and the courts for pathetic living conditions in the relief camps, a claim it vehemently denies.