N-E Delhi riots: HC asks govt to provide accommodation, food to homeless victims

New Delhi, Mar 27 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the AAP government to ensure victims of the recent northeast Delhi riots, who may be homeless at the moment, are provided with food and accommodation either at the community centres or night shelters.

A bench of justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh, which conducted the proceedings through video-conferencing, also asked the government to ensure the provision of food, water and medical aid to such individuals.

'The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) shall furthermore, individually and jointly, ensure that sanitation, cleanliness and hygiene is properly and regularly maintained at the locations/centres/shelters, where the riot victims are to be housed,” the bench said, in its order.

The court passed the order while issuing notices to the Centre, represented by advocate Amit Mahajan, Delhi government, represented by counsel Rahul Mehra, and the EDMC, represented by lawyer Abhinav S Aggarwal.

It sought their responses on a plea by Shaikh Mujtaba Farooq seeking direction to authorities to re-open the relief camp at Idgah in Mustafabad and provide proper food supplies, adequate water, sanitation and security to the victims.

The petitioner, represented through senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, sought direction for EDMC to clean the area and drains twice a day on a war-footing basis. 'In the meantime, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi is directed to ensure that all the riot victims, who may be shelterless at the moment, are provided with accommodation, either at the community centres or at the night shelters operated by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) in the Northeast District, Delhi,' the court said.

The bench asked the authorities to file short replies to the plea and in view of the urgency expressed by the petitioner, list the matter for further hearing on March 30.

The plea also sought direction to the authorities to publicly announce on television and in the newspapers that the Idgah camp is open and all those who want to seek refuge there are welcome to return.

In February, communal riots broke out in parts of northeast Delhi over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. PTI SKV SNE SNE