Following the outbreak of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, in India, the governments – both at the Centre and the states – are trying to ensure citizens abide by advisories on basic hygiene and social distancing to curb its spread. As a result, mass gatherings of any nature have been banned for the coming weeks, typically until the deadly disease has been eradicated.
In an effort to ensure that, Delhi’s Eidgah relief camp, located in Old Mustafabad, had to abruptly drive out riot victims too. More than 600 riot victims had been residing there since their homes were ravaged by the communal violence that killed more than 50 persons in North East Delhi in February.
Now, they have nowhere to go. Authorities have begun clearing the camp and the inmates have about 24 hours to look for an alternate accommodation, The Indian Express reported.
Shabana is one such riot victim who had sought refuge in the Eidgah relief camp. A mother to five daughters, she has no house to return to, no spare clothes to wear, no food or medicine either and is worried about how she would sustain herself in coming days.
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On March 24, the riot victims were offered cash assistance of Rs 3,000 each to help them pay rent and buy ration for a few days. While some don’t have a home to go back to, others are still worried about being attacked by their neighbours. Meanwhile, some families have claimed they haven’t received the rent amount either, the report said.
Moneycontrol couldn’t independently verify the report.
Some volunteers helping out at the camp told the paper that several riot victims have already vacated the camp and only 30 to 40 families remain. They too have been planning on leaving the place as it has got difficult to arrange for food and healthcare.
The Delhi High Court has already directed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi to ensure there are adequate healthcare facilities available at the camp, but Afsha Pracha, a lawyer representing the victims, claims the authorities are clearing out people instead.
AAP MLA Haji Yunus justified the move and said they are being sent elsewhere because of the novel coronavirus scare. “But we are giving them ration and rented accommodation. I myself saw two families being given houses in Babu Nagar, they said they liked it,” the report quoted Yunus as saying.