By Special Correspondent
New Delhi: Taking an alibi that law and order is a state subject, Union Minority Affairs Smriti Irani on Thursday told the Parliament that the government has no precise data on attacks against any particular community as it is not stored centrally.
In response to a question from Rajya Sabha member Abdul Wahab about attacks on minorities, the minister stated that the respective State Governments are responsible for maintaining law and order, recording, and prosecuting offences against all citizens, especially minorities.
In a written question Wahab, a member of the Indian Union Muslim League, had inquired as to whether there had been an increase in attacks on minority communities and, if so, what steps the government had taken to secure their protection. The Keralan MP had also asked as to whether the government had information on attacks on institutions run by minorities, and if so, what specifics were known.
The written answer from Smriti Irani, who holds additional charge of the Minority Affairs portfolio, read: “Public Order and ‘Police’ are State subjects as per the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. The responsibility of maintaining law and order, registration and prosecution of crimes against all citizens including minorities, rests with the respective State Governments. As such, specific data regarding attacks against individual communities is not maintained centrally.”
She added that the Indian government keeps an eye on the nation’s internal security and law and order situation and issues the necessary advisories “to ensure peace, public tranquillity, and communal harmony.”
“Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) are deployed to aid and assist State Governments, on their request, to maintain law and order and public tranquility,” she said who just took charge of the minority ministry after Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi resigned after the ruling BJP denied him reelection to the Rajya Sabha.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India has issued Communal Harmony Guidelines, which, inter-alia, lay down standard operating procedures to deal with situations arising out of any violence. These guidelines are aimed to maintain due vigilance, careful planning and preparatory measures to prevent and pre-empt communal violence,” read the answer.