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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

India

'Two-year-old girl dies of cold' in UP riot relief camp
S Raju, Hindustan Times
Meerut, January 02, 2014
First Published: 16:46 IST(2/1/2014)
Last Updated: 20:00 IST(2/1/2014)
Health officials have been asked to ascertain the cause of the death of a two-year-old girl local newspapers said died of cold in Manna Majra village of Shamli district, where several victims of communal riots are said to have taken refuge.
 
"I came to know about the death of the girl, Rashida, from local newspapers on Thursday morning. I have asked chief medical officer to visit the camp and submit a report," district magistrate VK Singh told HT.
 
Singh said there was no relief camp in the village as "the stay of a few families can't be considered a camp".
 
The newspaper reports said Momin, a resident of village Bhajju of Muzaffarnagar district, was staying in Manna Majra along with his family. His daughter Rashida was taken ill due to severe cold and died on Wednesday evening.
 
Stung by sharp criticism over the deaths of about 40 infants and children in various relief camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts during the past three months, the ruling Samajwadi Party decided to close down all such camps, where about 5,000 people afraid of returning to their villages were living in pathetic conditions.
 
HT had published a series of stories on the deaths and the miserable condition of the relief camps. The Supreme Court had taken cognizance of media reports and asked the government to investigate.
 
More than 50,000 people were displaced after the riots in which about 63 people had been killed in September last year. Most of them took compensation and settled elsewhere or returned to their native places.
 
"We have closed down all 41 relief camps in Muzaffarnagar, while 4 out of the 17 camps in district Shamli still seem to be operational as I have not received their closure report yet," Saharanpur divisional commissioner Bhuvnesh Kumar said.
 
Meanwhile, the forest department also asked the victims to vacate the land occupied by them after the riots.

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