The government now wants to return. Top Uttar Pradesh bureaucrats have allegedly asked organisers to wind up the camps within the next three or four days. But many riot victims say they have no place to go.
From the Loi camp in Muzaffarnagar, about 500 km from Lucknow, 25 families were allegedly forced to move to a government school that has now turned into a makeshift camp. Some of them allege they were made to shift to the building that has no roof in the middle of the night.
Visiting the Loi relief camp yesterday, District Magistrate of Muzaffarnagar Kaushal Raj had said that the government wants the victims to move to a place where they will get better protection from the cold, till they build their own homes.
But victims like Gulfaam Abbas point out that the condition at the makeshift camps is no better.
"I have bought land but am waiting to build my house. Till then I have to stay here with my family. My parents are old. I have nowhere else to go," said Gulfaam.
"All we have is this tent. We reached here last night," added Nazam.
Many like Gulfaam and Nazam have put up tents inside the school building. Others have made arrangements near a bus stand at a nearby village. They are waiting to get compensation.
After Loi, the administration is now likely to shift its focus on the camps in the neighbouring district of Shamli. Organiser of relief shelters here say they have been warned of action if they don't persuade the refugees to leave.
With more than 10 scattered camps in Shamli district and almost 6000 people who live there saying they have nowhere to go, it is for the Uttar Pradesh government to see if dismantling the shelters will be of any use.
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