Contradicting the government’s claim that the incidents of communal violence in the country are on a low, a data compiled by the Union Home Ministry points to a 17% spike in such occurrences across the country. The highest number of incidents were reported from UP, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The data shows the number of incidents as 751 during 2015, as compared to 644 in 2014. Casualties rose from 95 to 97 while the figure of those injured rose from 1921 to 2264. BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh reported the highest 64% increase in communal incidents in 2015 from the previous year whereas Congress-ruled Karnataka reported 105 incidents against 73 in 2014 – registering a whopping increase of 44% increase.
UP continues to report the maximum communal violence incidents with 155 incidents and 22 deaths. Bihar in 2015 has reported a high number of 20 deaths due to communal violence – a four-fold increase. BJP-ruled states of Gujarat and Rajasthan have shown a drop in figures from 2014.
In 2013, in the run up to the 16th Lok Sabha elections in April 2014, the communal violence had peaked with 823 incidents in which 133 people were killed and over 2269 injured.
On the backdrop of the data, the government in its reply to Parliament, however said that ‘Public Order’ and ‘Police’ being State subjects under the Constitution of India, “the responsibility of dealing with communal violence, registration, investigation/inquiry and prosecution of crimes and maintaining data in this regard rests primarily with respective State Governments.