Indian leaders raise concern over increasing communal violence in the country

Published 21 November 2019  |  
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Intelligence agencies report reveal nine states in India where communal violence is peaking the norm compared to last year.

Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 457 communal cases, followed by Rajasthan and West Bengal with 165 and 79 cases, respectively. Other states include Gujarat, Assam,Odisha, Tripura, Delhi and Kerala.

Church leaders, social activists and independent policymakers are calling on the government to control the ongoing communal violence in these states.

Some of the leaders reflect on the religious persecution that minorities in the country are facing and how it has grown over the years:

According to Sajan K George, president of the Global Council for Indian Christians, "The report of India's national intelligence agencies is only thinly a trailer. The majority of the attacks both religious and racial are often sponsored by ultra-religious Hindutva (pro-Hindu nationalist) groups in various states."

"We pray that good sense will prevail on the self-styled ultra-national who undermine the edifice of India with their rhetoric and denial of justice to a large section of people in the country," George added.

Jesuit Father Cedric Prakash, human rights activist, said, "The rise of communal incidents in at least nine states should come as no surprise to anybody. There has been a systematic and calculated move by the ruling regime and their ilk to consistently denigrate the minorities of the country."

He questioned, "How else can one view the lynching that is taking place with minorities always as the target?"

Cynthia Stephen, a Bengaluru-based journalist and an independent researcher and social policy analyst, told UCA News that "The figures put out by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) indicate a widespread deterioration of law and order in most parts of the country. Significantly, the nine states are those where the ruling pro-Hindu nationalist parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are strong."

"Many of the communal incidents have been linked to meat trade or transport, which is usually done by Muslims or socially backward Dalits," Stephen added.

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