Following a Supreme Court stricture, the state government on Tuesday amended the controversial notification providing Rs 5 lakh financial assistance to riot-affected Muslim families in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli.
Special secretary, home, Arun Kumar Mishra told journalists the amended notification had been issued in which the words “Muslim displaced family” had been replaced by “displaced family”. The original notification was issued on October 26.
After a representation by president Jamiat Ulema Hind ( JUH) president Maulana Arshad Madni last month, the Samajwadi Party government had granted an exclusive Rs 90 crore relief package for affected Muslim families in the two districts.
Madni had asked for financial assistance to those families which, out of fear, were unwilling to return to their villages. In view of the political sensitivity of the matter, the government rushed to grant a Rs 90 crore package to the affected Muslim families.
However, a section of the aggrieved Jat community challenged the “religion-based” notification in the apex court. Taking a serious note of the “biased notification”, the court directed the state government to take remedial measures on November 22.
The bench of chief justice P Sathasivam and justice Ranjana P Desai and justice Ranjan Gogoi found fault with favouring one community in the relief operations.
The court said relief and rehabilitation could not be denied on the ground of religion.
While amending the notification, the government had also placed a strong rider on the beneficiaries.
Since the financial assistance had been given on the ground that people were unwilling to return to their villages/ homes due to fear, they could rehabilitate themselves elsewhere.
Now the amended notification has made it clear that if the beneficiaries return willingly to their villages/homes, they would have to return the money. In case of defaulters, the money would be recovered like land revenue.