Strong action against those disturbing communal harmony: Govt

Strong action against those disturbing communal harmony GovtNEW DELHI: Strong action will be taken against those who disturb communal harmony, government asserted in Rajya Sabha today while stating that such incidents had “shown a decreasing trend” during the last few months of last year but increased again in January this year.

“Whoever breaks communal harmony…strict action will be taken,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said while replying to questions.

He said people who try to disturb communal harmony will be given a “befitting” response.

At the same time, he said “health” of communal harmony cannot be measured on the basis of number of incidents.

Giving details of communal violence since October 2014, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said such incidents have “shown a decreasing trend during the last few months of the year 2014 from October to December 2014”.

As per the information provided in the House, 72 communal incidents were reported in October, 49 in November and 33 in December. But the incidents increased to 72 in January 2015.

Singh said he was not patting back of his government as the number of communal incidents were on the wane or criticizing the previous UPA government for the increase during its regime.

Digvijay Singh (Cong) earlier raised the issue of provocative speeches to disturb communal harmony.

When a member referred to attacks on churches and violence in Trilokpuri area of Delhi last year, Rijiju said whether those were communal or not would be known only after investigation.

As per the data, three communal incidents took place in Delhi in October 2014, and no other incident took place in the following months through January 2015.

To related queries, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already denounced communal statements. Rijiju said he himself was a “minority” and assured the members that there would be no discrimination on the basis of religion.

The data showed that 21 communal incidents took place in Maharashtra during January followed by 12 in Bihar and 10 in Karnataka.

Replying to a question on improving working conditions of women in police forces, the MoS Home said the government has asked all Union Territories to increase the strength of women police personnel to 33 per cent.

Police is a state subject and states have to implement the police reform and welfare measures.

Rijiju added that the Centre advises the states from time to time to bring in requisite reforms in the police administration.

To another question, Rijiju said it has been found that a number of associations in Andhra Pradesh receiving foreign contributions have not filed annual returns of accounts.

“Notices were issued to 1,441 defaulting associations in the state of Andhra Pradesh for non filing of returns for the financial years 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12…,” he said.

The Minister added of the 1,441, registration of 1,142 associations have been cancelled.–PTI

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