Perturbed by certain states not constituting minority bodies, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has decided to seek Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention to kick-start the process.
The decision comes against the backdrop of 13 states still not forming minority commissions despite repeated requests by the NCM for the last one year.
"We are regularly sending them reminders to constitute minority commissions but there is no response from their side ... So we will be asking the Prime Minister to take up the matter with the states," Commission Chairman Md Shafi Qureshi told PTI.
The effort, if made from the government level, will perhaps ensure better results and hence the Commission will also ask Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to impress upon the states the need to have minority commissions, Qureshi said.
Till date, 13 states including Haryana, Gujarat and Orissa are yet to take any initiative despite "recurrence" of communal riots, especially in the last two states, he said.
Moreover, three states -- Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Manipur -- have minority commissions, but they are non statutory in nature.
The commission had initiated the move last year during a conference of minority departments of the states to ensure that those states, which have no minority body, constitute the same and even framed a Model Act under which they could function.
It had also framed detailed guidelines for functioning of the state minority commissions.
NCM's move aimed at doing away with anomalies in the existing state minority commissions after it came to light that there is no uniformity either in the number of members of various state commissions or their tenure, salary and service rules.
NCM had also sought views of the states on further modifying the provisions of the Model Act and also allowed them the liberty to carry out necessary modifications themselves. However, barring a few states, most of them did not respond to the national commission's missive.
"Absence of such bodies in the state deprive minorities from airing their grievances at an appropriate forum. That is why we are insisting on it. In Gujarat and Orissa, where communal violence frequently happened, we wanted them to act fast but nothing happened so far. But we cannot force states (to set up commissions)," Qureshi said.