The current year has seen 296 incidents of communal violence so far, with 44 deaths, according to data released by the home ministry in Parliament. The previous two years in their entirety saw 703 deaths (2016) and 751 (2015), with 86 and 97 deaths respectively. Uttar Pradesh has seen the highest number of incidents with 60, while Karnataka, MP, Rajasthan and Bengal too figure high on the list. In Uttar Pradesh’s 60 incidents, 16 people have been killed and over 150 injured. In 2016, UP had 162 incidents and 29 deaths.
Bengal, which recently witnessed communal violence in Basirhat, has had 26 incidents and 3 deaths until May, as compared to 32 incidents (4 deaths) for entire 2016. “The responsibilities of dealing with communal violence, investigation, prosecution of crimes, rest primarily with the respective state governments. Details like persons arrested or convicted, action taken against them and compensation paid to the victims are not maintained centrally,” MoS (Home) Kiren Rijiju said in a statement in Lok Sabha Tuesday.
“The central government has issued communal harmony guidelines to all states and UTs, which inter alia lay down standard operating procedures to be put in place to deal with situation arising out of the communal violence,” Rijiju said.