Lucknow, Jan 12 IBNS | 2 years ago

Uttar Pradesh sports and youth welfare minister Narad Rai, whose remarks on deaths in relief camps of riot-hit victims in Muzaffarnagar triggered a controversy, on Sunday said his comments were misquoted.

He said no death occurred in the camps due to the Samajwadi Party (SP)-led Uttar Pradesh government.

"I will like to to clarify that our government made all necessary arrangements in relief camps. There were no deaths due to government's negligence," Rai told media.

"I am disappointed at the way I was misquoted," he said.

Triggering another controversy over the deaths in relief camps for riot-hit victims in Muzaffarnagar, Rai on Saturday said even people could die in palaces.

"Deaths of children, adults and elderly are inevitable. It is not at all necessary that only those living in camps are dying," Rai told media.

"People die in palaces too," he said.

At least 34 children had died of cold at Muzaffarnagar and Shamli in the relief camps set up for riot victims late last year.

Communal riots struck Muzaffarnagar in September last year, leaving nearly 60 people dead and close to 40,000 homeless.

The violence was triggered when a young Muslim man was killed allegedly by Hindus for reportedly sexually harassing a woman.

With the spreading of the riots, thousands of people fled their homes and crowded relief camps where living conditions are poor and winter worsened the situation. Nearly 4000 of them have refused to return home fearing more violence.

(Posted on 13-01-2014)