Lucknow: At least 34 children below the age of 12 years have perished in the relief camps for people displaced during the riots in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts, according to a high-level committee constituted by the UP government to look into the reported deaths.
The deaths occurred between September 7 and December 20.
According to the report, 4,783 people are still living in five camps including one in Loi (Muzaffarnagar) and Madarsa Taimul Shah, Malakpur, Barnavi and Edgah (all in Shamli).
To a question on whether there are any "conspirators" in the camps, Gupta said that the committee has said that "only displaced people are living in the camps".
The president of ruling Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh Yadav, had created controversy recently stating 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) A K Gupta told reporters here.
He was quoting the report of high-level committee set up by the UP government to go into the factual details of the deaths of children as reported in the media.
"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".
On the conclusion of the report, Gupta said that it has been recommended that the quality and facilities in the camps should be improved, and steps should be taken for early return of the people living in the camps to their homes.