Karnataka: Over 222 attacks in 3 years – MHA

October 28, 2013 by  
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Persecution in karnatakaKarnataka, October 25, 2013: Karnataka’s image of a peace-loving state has taken a beating because of a series of church attacks and other communal incidents in the recent past. Statistics with the ministry of home affairs (MHA) seem to validate that.

With 222 incidents of communal violence over the past three years, Karnataka is fourth in India and tops in south India. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra precede Karnataka. Information collected by MHA shows reveals that between January 2010 and March 2013, the state Karnataka recorded 222 communal incidents.

It recorded close to 10% of the country’s total of 2,120 cases. Figures in UP, MP and Maharashtra stand at 347, 299 and 326, respectively.

Among south Indian states, Karnataka is followed by Kerala (126), Andhra Pradesh (114) and Tamil Nadu (86). The state reported 71 incidents in 2010, 70 in 2011, 69 in 2012 and 12 in the first three months of this year as against the all-India figures of 701, 580, 668 and 171 in the said period.

Sources, while unable to point to actual figures, however, say most incidents were reported in coastal Karnataka. Clifton Rozario of the Alternative Law Forum, which has taken up several such cases, said: “Mere registering of cases does not guarantee conviction. Take the previous government. Scores of cases against organizations like RSS, VHP or Sri Rama Sene were withdrawn.”

“What governments need to do is to create an environment free from communal sentiments that result in such incidents. While the government’s initiatives to economically uplift certain communities are welcome, we need to have a state that is secular, which I believe has not happened in Karnataka. For a few years now, several parts of the state have seen dangerous communal sentiments influence people. This needs to be addressed,” he said.

KL Ashok, general secretary, Karnataka Communal Harmony Force, feels that the numbers are under-reported and that several cases go unreported daily.

“I am not exaggerating when I say there are at least 10 incidents every day. But only one or two get reported in a month. The government should put in place systems that ensure a secular environment, not just indulge in actions that have no long-term solution.”

Senior police officials in Karnataka claim that the statistics only reflect the efficiency of the department. “Because other states have fewer cases registered does not mean fewer cases occur there. We have been able to register more cases, which is reflecting in the documents you have,” one of them said.

Speaking to TOI, Lalrokhuma Pachau, DG&IGP, said: “I can only tell you that we have been working very efficiently. We take up cases on priority and see that action is taken every time such an incident occurs.”

He also said that the department is vigilant and does a lot of preventive work based on intelligence. “We did a good job during Dasara, Bakrid and other important occasions. We also use intelligence provided by central agencies and have been able to prevent many cases,” he said.

– times of india

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