Zee Media Bureau
Lucknow: In a setback for Mulayam Singh Yadav, a high-level panel has debunked the Samajwadi Party chief`s claims that "conspirators" were living in camps set up for Muzaffarnagar riot victims.
The high-level committee was set up by the Uttar Pradesh government to investigate deaths reported at the camps for the riot-affected.
The panel found that 34 children under 12 years of age had died at the relief camps. The children perished between September 7 and December 20.
As per the findings of the panel, 4,783 riot-affected people are still living in five camps including one in Loi (Muzaffarnagar) and Madarsa Taimul Shah, Malakpur, Barnavi and Edgah (all in Shamli).
The committee clearly stated that "only displaced people are living in the camps" meant to house riot-affected victims from Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts, debunking conspiracy theory floated by the SP chief.
Mulayam had recently stirred a storm by claiming that "conspirators and political activists" were living in the relief camps.
"Most of the children who lost their lives are the ones who had been taken outside the camps for treatment by their parents or were referred to government hospitals for treatment," Principal Secretary (Home) AK Gupta said yesterday, quoting the report of high-level committee.
"The cause of the death of all these children is different with about four dying because of pneumonia while some others died because of dysentery and one due to premature birth," Gupta said, adding that the report was submitted to the government yesterday.
The official said that all the children had got medical attention and "it cannot be termed as medical negligence or incapability of the doctors".
Gupta said the panel has made several recommendations, including improving quality and facilities in the camps and ensuring that measures are taken to allow people living in the camps to return to their homes.