Perhaps for the first time, the government has identified the religion of victims of communal violence across the country, saying of the 107 people killed so far this year, 66 were Muslims and 41 Hindus.
The worst scenario has emerged from Uttar Pradesh, where twice as many Muslims lost
their lives than others.
According to a Union home ministry document, UP recorded 62 deaths (42 Muslims and 20 Hindus) in communal violence, the highest in the country.
India’s most populous state and politically crucial state had recorded the highest number of deaths (39) in communal unrest in 2012 as well.
UP saw 93 riots in the first nine months of 2013 along with 108 incidents of tension. A total of 219 Muslims and 134 Hindus were injured.
The statistics come at a time when western UP’s Muzaffarnagar district is limping back to normalcy after bloody riots in which at least 48 people were killed and more than 50,000 displaced from their homes.
The frequency of flare-ups in UP, which has 80 Lok Sabha seats, has triggered talk of conspiracies to polarise voters on communal lines in the run-up to the general elections due in 2014.
The home ministry’s statistics, circulated among members of the National Integration Council, indicate the administrative machinery often does not respond effectively when minorities are targeted.
Overall, till September 15, the country saw 479 riots.
Altogether 1,697 people including 794 Hindus, 703 Muslims and 200 police officials were injured.
The home ministry compiles the data on the basis of reports from the state governments.
Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood of Zakat Foundation said he had his doubts about the accuracy of the official statistics, suggesting they did not capture the complete picture. “It is much worse,” he said.
“There are camps after camps full of people who fled their homes during the Muzaffarnagar riots. Why are they only full of Muslims?”
In Maharashtra, 10 people were killed and 271 injured in 56 incidents of communal violence. Seven of the 10 killed were from the minority community. Of the injured, 101 were Hindus, 106 Muslims and 64 police officials.
Bihar saw 40 communal disturbances, 25 incidents of tension-like situation and recorded nine deaths - five Hindus and four Muslims.
Among the injured, 123 were Hindus, 66 Muslims and 19 police officials.
Gujarat saw 54 cases of communal violence, 21 of tension and recorded six deaths - three Hindus and three Muslims.
The injured included 85 Hindus, 57 Muslims and five police personnel.
In 2012, the country had seen 640 incidents of communal violence and 93 deaths - 48 Muslims, 44 Hindus and one police official.
A total of 2,067 people were injured. The injured included 1,010 Hindus, 787 Muslims, 222 police officials and 48 others.
UP had seen 117 incidents of communal violence at death of 20 Hindus and 19 Muslims.
Among the injured, 266 were Hindus, 197 Muslims and 25 police officials.
Maharashtra had recorded 94 riots, 208 incidents of tension and 15 deaths - nine Muslims and six Hindus - in 2012.
Among the injured, 110 were Muslims, 97 Hindus, 44 police officials and 29 others.
Madhya Pradesh had recorded 89 incidents of communal disturbance, 92 of tension and deaths of five Muslims and four Hindus in 2012.
Among the injured 146 were Hindus, 80 Muslims and 15 police officials.
In West Bengal, eight Muslims and one Hindu were killed, while 38 Muslims and 19 Hindus suffered injuries in 23 cases of communal disturbance and 21 of tension in 2012.
There were 20 riots and 30 incidents of tension in Bihar last year, leading to the death of three Hindus. A total of 87 Hindus and 52 Muslims were injured.
Gujarat had seen 57 incidents of communal disturbance, 20 of tension and recorded the death of four Hindus and one Muslim in 2012.
The injured included 91 Muslims, 82 Hindus and 28 police officials.
(With inputs from PTI)
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