Lucknow : The Akhilesh Yadav Government in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday recalled its earlier notification, announcing a grant of Rs 5 lakh for rehabilitation of “displaced Muslim families” in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts. The notification was issued after the communal clashes of August-September.
The new notification also states that if any family is willing to return to its village, it would have to return the compensation amount.
The withdrawal of the earlier notification and the issuance of the revised order came following the censure of the Supreme Court on November 21. The court had frowned at the attempt to single out Muslim community for relief and rehabilitation following the riots.
A bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justices Ranjana P Desai and Ranjan Gogoi had taken serious exception to the notification and said, “In your relief operations, if your notification favours one community, then it is bound to backfire. How can relief and rehabilitation measures be denied on the ground of religion?”
While Senior Advocate Rajiv Dhavan appearing on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh Government had immediately assured the court that no one would be discriminated and that a corrigendum to the notification would be issued, the Apex Court Bench asked for the notification to be withdrawn.
“We feel you have to recall this notification and issue a fresh one to include all riot-affected families, whosoever is eligible irrespective of their religious or community identity,” the judges said.
The state government had then given an undertaking before the court that it would “recall” the October 26 notification and said that in the fresh notification it would be clearly mentioned that the concerned authority will take care of each and every affected person.
On Sunday (November 24), Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh had sought to justify the notification saying that though both sides had suffered the casualties and damage to property suffered by the Muslim community was greater.
The riot and its aftermath had been riddled with controversy with allegations that the Uttar Pradesh police and administration had taken unilateral decisions. In some cases even reports had not been registered of Hindu victims, and in this connection the role of a senior minister had also come under a cloud.
The mishandling of the riots has not only led to deep polarization of the society in western Uttar Pradesh but also left the SP red faced. To make matters worse, a section of Muslims has also become very vocal about their mistrust of the SP government. Some riot-affected Muslims have staged demonstrations in Lucknow also, attacking the government for its mishandling of the riots.