For the last 10 years, families of those killed have been running from pillar to post with their demands for death certificates and government jobs but to no avail. The families approached the district magistrate of Shamli, Superintendent of Police and other officials in this regard
Waquar Hasan | Clarion India
NEW DELHI — Family members of eleven persons who were killed during the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots are struggling to get death certificates and promised government jobs as their bodies were not found in the aftermath of the violence.
Rizwan Saifi, a resident of Shamli in Uttar Pradesh, told Clarion India that he lost five relatives and family members during the riots but their dead bodies had gone missing due to police negligence. Thus, the families of Saifi and other victims were not provided with death certificates and government jobs promised by the then government.
Those whose bodies have not been found are Azimuddin, Haliman, Wakeela, Karmuddin, Umarddin, Sirajuddin, Hamidan, Hakimuddin, Nasiruddin, Haji Babu, and Wife of Banda. All of them are from the same Lisarh village in the Shamli district.
For the last 10 years, families of those killed have been running from pillar to post with their demands for death certificates and government jobs but to no avail. The families approached the district magistrate of Shamli, Superintendent of Police and other officials in this regard.
In July last year, the families even wrote to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityananth seeking his intervention in this regard.
“Applications were filed with the district magistrate of Shamli and ‘Vishesh Vivechna Prakosth’ several times but no action has been taken. During the riots, we were told that if the bodies are not found in seven years, then the persons will be considered dead. And we will be provided with death certificates and government jobs,” reads an application which urged the chief minister to fulfill the government promises.
Rizwan told Clarion India that the chief minister’s office forwarded their applications to the district magistrate of Shamli. In its reply on 31 October 2022, the DM said there was not any such practice in place.
Besides Rizwan, Shahid Ahmed, Ikram, Sabir and Ayyub were also among the applicants. On 30 August 2022, they filed a complaint with the National Commission for the Minorities (NCM).
The NCM, which has the power of summoning and forcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him on oath and receiving evidence on affidavit, sought a report from the DM of Shamli on the complaint filed by the families of the victims.
In its report, the DM claimed that “In the year 2013, rumors spread in the village that these people had fled from the village, no one knows where they went after being chased away, nor was any evidence of their death available in the village, nor did their families have any residence in the village”.
However, the families were not satisfied with the report filed by the DM. In response to the report, the families filed an application with the NCM saying that the report was far from the facts and baseless.
“Facts have been hidden in the report. Most of the people on the basis of whose statements the report was prepared and their family members are themselves or their family members are accused in FIRs related to the incidents of murder. The victims were not asked to give their statements and testimonies and were not contacted by the Shamli administration. The report based on one-sided statements was presented to you as a final report,” reads their application.
They pointed out that the district administration in its report did not mention the FIRs, the investigations done by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and the compensation of Rs 15 lakh given to the families.
In their application, the families also said that Tehsil Lekhpal also declared all those missing as dead in its report filed in February 2015. They said that the missing persons were murdered and their bodies were made to disappear. Hence, they should be considered as dead and their families should be given the benefits of the announcement made by the government in this regard.
The SIT, which found bones, blood-soaked clothes, and ashes during its investigation from the spot, also considered these 11 persons as dead. The findings of SIT were published in the newspapers, said the applicants.