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‘Rehabilitation of riot victims is national duty’

The Supreme Court Wednesday said that the rehabilitation of riot victims was a national responsibility and could not just be construed within legal and moral parameters.

Rehabilitating the riot victims was a ‘national liability and you have to be responsible not just legally or morally but in all dimensions of the word’, said an apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prajash Desai.

The court said this while directing the Punjab government not to evict some petitioners who were displaced due to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and were allegedly in illegal possession of accommodation meant for similarly-placed other riot victims.

The high court ordered ‘...we, accordingly, direct the deputy commissioner and commissioner of police, Ludhiana, to proceed in the matter in accordance with the law forthwith and ensure that the unauthorised possession is removed and vacant flats are delivered to those who have been found entitled to and eligible for allotment as per government policies’.

This verdict, in the light of the recent communal riots in the Assam and the neighbouring states, would hopefully improve the situation for refugees still stuck at relief camps across Kokrajhar, Chirang,  Bongaigaon and Barpeta districts across Assam. More than 2 lakh refugees are still homeless.
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