Assam has witnessed a marginal increase in the number of communal violence evenas Centre keep issuing directions to Dispur to counter such incidents.
The increasing number of communal incidents in this BJP ruled state, however, raised serious questions on the law and order situation.
As many as four people were killed and 45 others were injured in 2017 in Assam. According to Union Ministry of Home Affairs statistics, 16 communal incidents took place in Assam last year. In 2016, Assam witnessed 12 communal violence causing death of 3 people and in injured 19 others.
In 2015, Assam witnessed three communal incidents. However, no official reports on deaths were registered. As many as 10 people were also found injured in the incidents.
In Tripura, one communal incident was recorded in 2017 whereas 1 person has died and eight people were injured. A total of 822 communal incidents were reported from across India last year whereas 111 were killed and 2384 were injured.
Government records said that public order and police are State subjects as per the provisions of the Constitution of India.
The responsibilities of maintaining law and order, including investigation, registration and prosecution of crimes, conviction of accused, protection of life and property etc. and maintaining relevant data rest primarily with the respective State Governments .
“In order to maintain communal harmony in the country, the Central Government assists the State Governments, Union Territory Administrations in a variety of ways like sharing of intelligence, sending alert messages, advisories etc. from time to time on important developments having bearing on communal harmony. The Central Government on the requests of the States and Union Territories sends Central Armed Police Forces, including the composite Rapid Action Force, created specially to deal with communal situation,” a senior home ministry official said.
The Central Government has issued the Communal Harmony Guidelines in 2008, which inter-alia lay down standard operating procedures to be put in place to deal with the situations arising out of communal violence.
“These guidelines are aimed to maintain due vigilance, careful planning and preparatory measures which may prevent and pre-empt many possible incidents of communal violence. These guidelines are reiterated while sending advisories from time to time, particularly prior to various religious festivals, with the objective of immediate sensitization,” the official said.