“The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had promised to bring forward a bill on communal violence and had also incorporated it in its manifesto,” said Setalvad. “We need a public campaign to remind the government of its promise.”
The bill, which was proposed by the National Advisory Committee, seeks to protect religious and linguistic minorities in the country from targeted and organised communal violence. It holds public servants accountable for failure to prevent the outbreak or spread of violence, and also proposes a standard procedure for compensation and reparation.
“The bill ensures the citizens that the state will protect their lives if they are in danger of communal violence,” said Bose.
The group demanded that the bill be tabled before the monsoon session of Parliament. “We will also demand that the bill be taken up in Rajya Sabha so that it outlasts the term of any government,” said Setalvad. “The bill should be passed within the next two years,” she added.