Much before the first knife was drawn in the latest round of communal violence last weekend in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh suffered one incident of communal violence every three days all of this year killing 11 people and wounding 260 others.
There were reports on Monday that CM Akhilesh Yadav – under whose charge communal violence has returned to haunt the state – conceded 27 communal incidents this year. Official statistics of violence accessed by HT indicate that may have been an understatement.
There were more than 75 incidents of communal violence in the state this year till last month.
Nearly 57 people were killed in the country and a whopping 1,585 injured in communal clashes nationwide in 465 incidents, that prompted a worried cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth to summon chief secretaries of the states to Delhi last week.
Seth nudged the states to get a firm grip on the situation, particularly since there will be attempts to polarise the electorate ahead of the elections.
UP’s failure to keep the communal situation under check has remained a key concern for two years. But UP isn’t the only one.
Six other states including Congress-ruled Maharashtra and Rajasthan as well as the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat don’t have an outstanding track record either.
Together, the seven states account for nearly 75%- 80% of deaths and injuries in communal disturbances.
It was in context of such intelligence reports that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently urged people to “oppose communal forces all the time, at all levels, whether it is daily life or elections”.