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, UP principal secretary (home) AK Gupta said that the committee has said that "only displaced people are living in the camps".
The president of UP's 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," Gupta told reporters here.