The father of Shahnawaz, one of the three youths whose death had triggered the Muzaffarnagar violence, returned home Wednesday morning. One of Shahnawaz’s uncles too is back with his wife and children but not the rest of the family, who had fled Kawaal village the day after the August 27 murders in riot-hit areas of Uttar Pradesh.
“We were very scared, so we left and stayed with relatives in another district. It is sad that there have been so many deaths. We never wanted it turned into a political issue,” said Saleem, Shahnawaz’s father.
A district administration team promptly went to the house. Saleem was handed Rs 10 lakh as compensation, said Jansath tehsildar Rakesh Kumar. The families of the other two youths killed, Gaurav and Sachin, have already been given their cheques.
Those who haven’t returned after the riots include Shahnawaz’s mother, siblings — two of his brothers are accused in the murder of the other two youths — and uncle Naseem. Abdul Sattar, the uncle who is back, said the brothers were in Chennai when the murders happened.