New Delhi, 19 March 2014: “The communal fascist forces are a big threat to democracy, peace and harmony of this great country, they should be defeated in the forth coming general election 2014” said Justice Rajinder Sachar, a renowned human rights activist known for his historical Sachar Committee report on the Muslim minority in the country. He further added that the communal riots in Muzaffar Nagar and Shamli districts were engineered for political gains by the communal fascist forces and a blot on democracy. He expressed these views at a press conference on Wednesday, 19th March 2014, organized by the Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity (FDCA) at the Indian Women’s Press Corps in New Delhi.
In the press conference, a detailed report on the present situation of victims in the area and recommendations about assuring prompt Justice and proper rehabilitation to victims and their families and strengthening the atmosphere of mutual trust and harmony in the communal riot affected areas of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts of Uttar Pradesh was released ( Copy Attached).
A team of FDCA activists led by renowned human rights activist Adv. N. D. Pancholi had visited the riot affected areas. The team met various community leaders, police and other administrative officials and prepared a detailed report.
The press conference was also addressed by Prof. Muchkund Dubey, the national president of FDCA and former Foreign Secretary of India.
Prof. Dubey recommended that “all the people against whom FIRs have been taken out should be arrested first, only then will the fear the riot victims have about returning be put to rest. Let the court decide if they are guilty or not, People have the right that where they lived, they should keep on living there and should live their lives with a sense of security,” he said. Introducing the aims and objectives of the Forum he added that FDCA is working to create awareness among the people to strengthen the atmosphere of mutual trust and communal amity.
Advocate N.D. Pancholi a renowned human right activist and founding life member of FDCA elaborated on the contents of the report, He said that:
“The FDCA demands in their report that conditions must be created to enable those uprooted from their homes in the riot affected villages to go back to the villages. For this to occur, the FDCA stated that the following steps should be taken:
a) A suitable job should be given to a family member of deceased;
b) The State Government should forthwith withdraw the condition that those who have been provided compensation of Rs. 5 Lakhs will have to surrender this amount if they go back to their homes;
c) Those who have not been or are not qualified to receive this compensation but have fled their homes out of fear, should be provided, both as a means as well as an incentive, for returning and resettling in the homes/shelters from where they have fled out of fear of life. A sum of Rs. 3 lakhs per person could be the appropriate level of such assistance.
d) An additional incentive should be given as temporary employment until cultivation by those who have land is resumed and the landless on return are able to find jobs. For this, a fund of Rs. 5 Crores should be created urgently either by the state of the Central government or by both of them jointly. The operation of the fund should be entrusted to a committee consisting of local representatives of affected people, social activists of the area concerned and a qualified officer of the State Government of reasonable seniority;
e) The State Government should deploy an appropriate number of personnel to liaise with the Gram Pradhans of the affected villages for locating and inviting those displaced to return to their villages. For this, help should be taken of the volunteers of the NGOs active in this area. The FDCA itself will be happy to designate a team for this purpose;
f) In spite of these measures, the displaced families may not return to their villages so long as justice is not done to them and those directly involved in perpetrating the violence are freely roaming around in the affected villages. It is, therefore, essential that most of those against whom FIRs have been lodged should be arrested without delay and those involved in violence and arrested should not be released without a court order.
g) Immediate steps should be taken to make special arrangements for the education of the displaced children and special examinations should be conducted, if necessary, to ensure that these students do not lose their academic year.
The FDCA believes that only by following these steps can communal harmony be returned to Muzaffarnagar and Shamli areas.”
Prof. Prem Singh, human rights activist and professor at University of Delhi who was also part of team which visited the area said that: “ when our team visited the area most of the people said very clearly that these riots were planned and politically motivated.” In response to a question he said that our observation is that the communal fascist forces responsible for these riots were not successful in their plans to gain politically and hopefully will get a proper reply in the coming general elections.
The press conference was convened by Mohammad Salim Engineer, Acting General Secretary of FDCA, he concluded with remarks that : “the demands and recommendations were sent to and appointment were sought from the Chief minister of UP, the Union home minister Mr. Shinde Samajwadi Party President Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav. Unfortunately no response was received. This attitude of the state and union government is highly irresponsible and painful. It is the basic duty of the government to maintain law and order, to assure safety and security and rights of all citizens of the state. Despite of some but insufficient efforts made after the riots the state government is responsible for the loss of lives and property and dignity of its citizens and damage to peace and harmony in the area”.