By SHAHEEN ABDULLA / Maktoob Media

In August 2013, deadly communal violence broke out in Western Uttar Pradesh killing dozens of people, overwhelmingly Muslims. Officially, the killing spree that went on for weeks took 64 lives in Shamli, Muzaffarnagar and adjacent districts.

But even a decade later, survivors are appealing to declare their kin to be declared a casualty in the carnage. If the government is under-reporting the casualties, it has denied justice for the victims and relief for survivors.

A compilation of responses from the Right to Information requests, filed by the Afkar India Foundation, suggests the number of lives lost is more than the figure mostly reported by most media outlets.

According to the data, reviewed by Maktoob, 42 people were killed in Muzaffarnagar and 22 in Shamli, the districts worst hit by the violence. Although that sums at 64, casualties were also reported in other districts.

Three people were killed in Baghpat, four in Meerut, and one each in Hapur and Saharanpur. they all received compensation from the state government. These figures don’t include the missing people who were later, on December 05, 2013, presumed dead by the Special Investigation Team.

A government document from 2013, seen by Maktoob states that out of 21 people who went missing, four people were found and 17 remained untraced. According to Akram Akhtar Chaudhary, an activist turned lawyer leading the Afkar India Foundation, two more people were found and the number of missing is presumed to be 15 people.

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