Describing as "unfortunate" the spurt in communal violence in the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has appealed to all political parties and people to realise the gravity of the situation and not to work against unity, integrity and social cohesion of the nation.
"It is very unfortunate that these incidents have taken place. I would appeal to all political parties, all thinking men and women in our country to realise the gravity of the situation," the Prime Minister said.
"Any regional tensions or animosity is an act of disservice to our country," Singh told reporters on board his special aircraft while returning home from his two-nation tour of Japan and China on Saturday evening.
However, the Prime Minister said he did not want to criticise any state government for its inability to contain violence while he was abroad. "Let me say this, I don't want to criticise any government while I am on foreign soil."
"All of us have an obligation regardless of our political affiliations to do nothing which will work against the unity, integrity and social cohesion of our country," he said.
He also appealed to the media and "all thinking segments of our population not to link terror with any one particular religion."
"Terrorists have no religion, regardless of their religion we have to deal wholly and effectively with terrorism," Singh said.
"We will handle it that way but let us not link terror to any particular community. This is not the way to solve any problem. If this is not handled properly, it has serious divisive potential.
"We cannot afford such division. So all segments of public opinion, all political parties must work together to see that this communal divide does not get widened," he said.
Asked about the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, the Prime Minister clarified that he would not like to discuss all these issues in public and the situation requires tactful handling.
"Whatever is necessary to restore calm, to restore respect for the rule of the law should be undertaken. I would not like to comment on internal matters in detail while I am on foreign territory," Singh said.
Singh said he felt sorry that some sections of the people felt alienated. "I am very sorry that such a feeling exists. Those who have read the newspapers about Malegaon and others, I think, would consider that this is a one-sided view.
"Terrorism, whichever section indulges in this nefarious activity, has been prosecuted regardless of the community to which they belong," he added.