In the past four months, the country witnessed 300 incidents of communal violence, 75 every month, where 35 people were killed, according to Home Ministry data accessed by The Hindu. In the entire year till October, 630 incidents were reported and 86 persons lost their lives.
The data do not show any spike in incidents under the NDA government. In 2013, when the UPA was in power, 823 such incidents were reported and in 2014 the figure stood at 644, the NDA came to power on May 26, 2014.
Till June this year, 330 incidents of communal violence were reported and 51 people were killed in these incidents. As many as 1,899 people were injured in 2015.
The report said that in 2015, there were “no major communal incidents” but “two important communal incidents” took place — at Atali in Faridabad, Haryana (feud over construction of a place of worship) and Bisahda, Dadri, Uttar Pradesh (when 50-year-old Mohammad Akhlaque was killed by a mob over rumours that beef was stored in his fridge).
The report said there were “disputes pertaining to religious issues including processions and over alleged objectionable portrayal of religion/religious symbol on social media; gender related issues; land and property disputes; political rivalry and miscellaneous issues like road rage, personal enmity and financial disputes.”
CPI MP D. Raja who was present at Standing Committee meeting, which was supposed to be addressed by Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, said “the Union Home Secretary did not find it important to come and address the MPs on an issue as important as communal violence. The meeting took place but the committee members were anguished at his absence. The Home Ministry also came up with a report where it said that no major incident took place in 2015.” A senior Home Ministry official said Mr. Mehrishi could not attend the meeting as he had to attend the Union Cabinet meeting.
The committee is headed by P. Bhattacharya (Cong.) and comprises 10 Rajya Sabha MPs and 21 Lok Sabha MPs.
The Home Ministry report also said the onus on containing such incidents lay primarily on the State governments which were responsible for maintaining law and order.