There have been “no big communal riots” in India over the past four years, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Union Minister for Minority Affairs, said recently. Naqvi’s claim is not true, according to Indiaspend’s analysis of the government data.
Three “major communal incidents” were reported in (Baduria-Basirhat district North 24 Parganas, West Bengal) 2017, (Hazinagar, West Bengal) 2016 and (Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh) 2014, according to the home ministry’s annual reports, with no “major communal incidents” reported in 2015.
A “major” communal incident is one that results in more than five deaths or leaves over 10 people injured. An incident that results in one death or 10 injured is termed as “important or significant”.
As many as 2,920 “communal incidents” were reported in India over four years ended 2017, in which 389 people were killed and 8,890 injured, according to the home ministry’s reply to the Lok Sabha on February 6, 2018 and February 7, 2017.
Uttar Pradesh — India’s most populous state — reported the highest number of incidents (645) over the last four years, followed by the ninth — most populous, Karnataka (379), and the second-most populous, Maharashtra (316).
The Home Ministry’s reply to the Lok Sabha on February 6, 2018, did not specify the sections of the Indian Penal Code used to report these incidents.
“The incidents are reported to be attributed to religious factors, land and property disputes, gender related offences, social media related issues and other miscellaneous issues,” another reply to the Rajya Sabha on March 14, 2018, stated.
Source: IndiaSpend, Parliament