Lucknow: With the Supreme Court taking note of media reports of deaths of children in relief camps for victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots, Uttar Pradesh Government on Friday set up a high-level committee to look into the issue.
Led by the Commissioner of Meerut, the committee would have district magistrates of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli, and Chief Medical officers (CMOs) of these districts as members, Home Secretary Kamal Saxena told reporters here.
The commissioner would be free to nominate any other person as its member, Saxena said, adding that the committee has been asked to submit its report on December 18.
The objective of the committee would be to probe the facts about the number of relief camps existing there and the number of people staying in it. The committee will also probe the facts regarding the death of children, as reported by media, he said.
The Home Secretary said that as per the reports and the writs filed, a list of 39 names of deceased persons have been given. The committee would check them.
Besides, it would find out the shortcomings in the relief work and arrangements made to fight winter chill in the camps.
It would also review the medical services provided in the camps and provide aid if required, Saxena said.
To a question, he said that there are over 4,000 people still in the five relief camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli.
On government reports about the deaths in these camps, he said as per the information provided by the Muzaffarnagar district magistrate, 11 people of whom two were children had died of different causes in October.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court had taken a "serious" note of reported deaths of over 40 children in the relief camps and directed the Uttar Pradesh government to immediately take remedial measures.
The SC, which asked the state administration to "ascertain the correctness" of the media-based "serious" averments made in a petition, expressed displeasure that despite its orders to take adequate relief and rehabilitation measures, incidents of death of children have been reported leading to uproar in Parliament.