‘Chief ministers should ensure high vigil till Jan 2012′

October 20th, 2011 - 11:28 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, Oct 20 (IANS) Concerned over recent incidents of communal violence, union Home Minister P. Chidambaram Thursday asked chief ministers to maintain high vigil till January 2012 to check such outbreaks.

“The period from now until the end of January 2012 is marked by a number of religious occasions as well as commemorative dates and public holidays. It is important that state governments maintain a high degree of vigil so that there are no communal incidents,” Chidambaram said in his letter to chief ministers.

“In recent weeks, there has been a rise in the number of incidents of communal discord and strife in several states of the country. This is a matter of concern,” he said.

The home minister has asked chief ministers to identify areas in towns and wards which are communally sensitive and to maintain constant vigil in those areas.

According to the home minister, in August, there were 44 incidents and 10 lives were lost; in September, there were 60 incidents and 16 lives were lost.

The home minister said a careful analysis of the incidents showed that the spark was usually a trivial issue such as collision of two motorcycles, dispute over playing of loudspeaker, wordy quarrel over a petty issue.

In some cases, he said, it appeared that the incident was deliberately provoked by attempting to disturb a religious procession or an attack on a place of worship.

He mentioned that on a few occasions, the government had to rush Central armed police forces to assist state police authorities in restoring law and order.

Chidambaram’s letter stated that up to Oct 11, there had been 15 incidents, which had resulted in six people being killed and 112 injured.

“Some of these incidents started with a minor dispute but certain other incidents were deliberately provoked by one group or the other,” said the home minister. “This shows that there are certain fundamentalist elements who are bent upon escalating communal tensions.”

In particular, he said, careful watch should be kept over elements likely to provoke discord among different communities and trigger communal incidents.

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