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Hiatus of Barbarism during Communal Riots in Muzaffar Nagar, UP

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ANHAD versus State of Uttar Pradesh & Union of India & Others

Writ Petition (CRL.)  181 of 2013

Public Interest Litigation was filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India by the petitioner after several reputed organizations carried out fact-findings into the communal attacks that took place mainly in the districts of Muzaffarnagar, Shamli,  Meerut and Saharanpur in the State of Uttar Pradesh from 27.8.13 continued in a sporadic and diminished way even till today, in which as per official report 52 people has been killed another 150 injured, hundreds of houses ransacked, looted and burned and dozens of religious places were damaged, whereas the unofficial report is much higher than the official report of casualty.

The testimonies of the victims from the camps reveal that, these victims gave not only a graphic account of the attacks but they also gave the names of the assailants. The list of the accused persons as per the FIR’s lodged at various police stations which contains names of the persons whom the victims have identified as their assailants in the various reports and fact findings referred to in this petition. It is shocking that in police station Fugana, district Muzaffarnagar 55 accused person have been clearly identified by the victims and eye- witnesses and only 17 accused persons have been arrested so far. The number of FIR registered in Police station is 6.

Whereas various reports also gave the names of the deceased and injured and missing. The government figure of the deceased is 48 whereas 53 post mortem has been conducted by the government hospitals in regard to the riot victims. The casualty of life is much higher to this figure; the small example is indicated from the list of deceased which indicates the name of 65 deceased people only. It is important to state that this is only a very partial list as the fact finding reports have covered only a very small portion of the affected population. The number of missing persons is still uncertain because neither any government agency has disclosed nor there is any coordination for ascertaining the said facts. Even till today there is no helpline for missing or for the disclosure of the names of the dead and injured. The Times of India published a report titled as ‘Muzaffarnagar riots leave children scarred for life’ dated 13.9.13 where the testimonies of the riot affected children’s were taken and which shows the brutality of the rioters where the victims they clearly recognized their assaulters and the murderers of their family members. But after large scale publication in National daily also no arrest is made of the named accused persons, who are roaming freely which shows clear failure of the state government. Another report dated: 14.09.2013 was published in Times of India where the reported statement of a doctor is published who conducted autopsies at Muzaffarnagar District Hospital where he confirms that a woman’s body was cut into two pieces. 

The hiatus of barbarism can be seen from the extracts of the various fact finding reports, oral testimonies and the FIRs which have been duly confirmed by the Medical Officers who received the dead bodies for post mortem, viz bodies of young children that had been brutalized and burned, a women’s body, cut into pieces, a women and infant in her lap burnt alive and later remained as unidentified body, five women and minor girls whose FIRs have been lodged reported cases of gang rapes, whereas dozens of girls told  the atrocities of gang rape and sexual assault, those girls are not coming forward for lodging FIRs being insecure and in trauma. A deadly incident of cut into pieces of humans on the saw machine has been reported, children have drown in canal while fleeing, kidnapping of young girls, house burning, ransacking of religious places and looting of properties.

A delegation of eminent Muslims met the Prime Minister and gave him details of the attack that had taken place. This delegation has demanded from the Hon’ble Prime Minister for immediate pressing of the Communal Violence (Prevention) Bill, as an extraordinary measure to curb the riots.

The National Commission for Minorities sent a fact finding team to Muzaffar Nagar on 19.9.13 and the recorded the statements of the victims who gave details of how certain politicians from national political parties gave provocative slogans resulting in the riots occurring and people being killed. Though the police officers at many police stations were siding with the assailants there were certain outstanding police officers who saved the lives of the Muslims.  After that visit, the commission recommended, inter alia, that FIRs be launched in regard to the murders and assaults.

A follow up visit was made by the National Commission for Minorities consisting of the full Commission namely, Chairman, Mr. Wajahat Habibullah and all members Mr. K.N. Daruwalla, Dr. Ajaib Singh and Mr. T.N. Shanoo. According to the Commission there were 41 relief camps with 50,180 persons in Muzaffar Nagar and Shamli districts as on 19.9.13 and the victim families were mainly landless persons, weavers and self employed artisans, louhars and the persons in the camps were predominantly Muslim. As on 19.9.13 the Commission recorded the statements of the officials as saying that there were 45 deaths, 21 persons were seriously injured and 31 others have received injuries. The police informed the Commission that they had no list of missing persons.  

In one of the report it is pointed, inter alia, that mothers were forced leave their children while fleeing and that there were a large number of missing persons with whom there is no contact even till today. Reports were heard of bodies being burnt and buried without panchanamas and postmortems. The team heard accounts of rape and gang rape.

The Petition asked for the following reliefs:

  • For a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction constituting a Special Investigating Team of police officers from outside the state of Uttar Pradesh and headed by E.N. Rammohan former Director General, BSF to investigate in respect of the instances of murder, assault, rape, abductions, arson, looting of properties, provocative hate speeches , communal writing in the media and other criminal activity relating to the riots in and around Muzaffar Nagar, Shamli, Bhagpat, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Saharanpur and other affected areas and to prosecute the offenders in accordance with law.
  • For an order requesting the Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai to send a team of investigators to the affected areas of UP to enquire into the conditions of the victims including missing persons and thereafter to make a report regarding the true state of affairs and to suggest a practical and detailed scheme for the rehabilitation of the victims of the riots.
  • For an order directing reputed organization to depute a group consisting predominantly of women teachers and students to visit the affected districts and interview the women concerned in cases regarding violence against women and to make a report to this Court.
  • For an order directing the Director AIIMS to constitute a panel of lady doctors to conduct medical examination of the victims of sexual assault.
  • For an order directing reputed organization to depute a group to visit the affected areas to make an inventory of the property of the victims which have been damaged or destroyed.
  • For an order directing the state of UP to forthwith provide women doctors in the camps and elsewhere particularly to care for pregnant women and women with small children.
  • For an order directing the state of UP to forthwith reopen all the Anganwadi centres and to open additional centres so that the nutrition and education of little children do not suffer.
  • For an order directing the state of UP to ensure that the education of the children in the riot affected areas returns to normalcy immediately.
  • For an order directing the state of Uttar Pradesh to forthwith attend to all the grievances regarding conditions in the camps, non registration of FIRs, missing persons, food, medical attention, proper sanitation, adequate tents, drinking water and water supply, blankets, clothes and other requirements as set out in the petition.
  • For an order directing the Union of India to provide security at all the camps through the Central Security Force with immediate effect.
  • For an order directing the state of UP to ensure that all police personnel cooperate in a sympathetic manner with all the victims of the riots and register all the FIRs proposed to be filed and thereafter proceed against persons mentioned in the FIRs registered with the police by arresting the said persons.
  • For an order directing the State of Uttar Pradesh to abolish the provision of home posting the police personnel posted in the vicinity of their homes which lead to mass mobilization of the local administration and non cooperative attitude to victims and colluded with the rioters.
  • For an order to the State of Uttar Pradesh to fix criminal liability and to initiate departmental proceedings against the police personals found colluded with the rioters and facilitated in the commission of large scale arsoning, looting and murders.
  • For an order directing the state of UP to pay compensation of Rs. 20 lakhs to the families of each deceased person, Rs. 10 lakhs to the seriously injured and full and proper compensation for loss of property including houses, household articles, vehicles, animals and the like, within one month from today.
  • For an order directing the State government and the central government to frame a comprehensive policy of the riot victims who cannot settle back to their homes, and to provide them status of the migrants at par with the Kashmir migrants and thither cases, with all such other benefits at par with the victims of the riots.
  • For an order to the appropriate authority to provide them voter identity cards and such other identities and to provide the electoral franchise in the respective camps or the local area wherever they are temporarily settled as dislocated citizens.
  • For an order to provide specific land denoting as a temporary measure notifying land for the right affected victims as a temporary shelter as a temporary measure.
  • For an order or direction to respondent no.2 to formulate a guideline for the print and electronic media in terms of reporting during such kind of riots.
  • For an order to immediately cancel all the arm license in the riot affected districts further for an order for the recovery of all such illegal weapons which were used to massacre the innocent peoples such as guns, pistols, swords, tirshuls and etc.

For further Information Contact: 
Tarik Adeeb / Naushad Khan
+91-9310677131
Litigation.delhi@hrln.org

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