Hindus, Muslims equal sufferers of communal strife


New Delhi : Hindus and the Muslims in India have suffered equally in incidents of communal violence that have shown a marginal increase since 2004, says a union home ministry statement on communal situation in the country.

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The statement tabled in parliament by Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal last Wednesday said 18 Hindus and 13 Muslims were killed in the 255 incidents of communal violence during the first four months of 2007.

The people injured in these incidents included 370 Hindu, 245 Muslims, 36 Christians and 15 people belonging to other religions.

The statement added that the corresponding first four months of 2006 had witnessed 265 incidents of communal violence, which claimed the lives of 28 Hindus, 31 Muslims and two Christians and left 425 Hindus, 279 Muslims, 24 Christians and 28 others injured.

It also said 64 Hindus and 67 Muslims besides two Christians were killed in 698 incidents of communal violence all over the country last year, adding, 1,050 Hindus and 804 Muslims were injured, besides 49 Christians and 52 people of other communities.

The data on incidents of communal violence showed that there had been little improvement in the communal situation in the country since 2004.

In 2004, a total of 677 incidents of communal violence occurred in the country in which 134 people were killed and 2,132 injured.

In the following year (in 2005), the number of incidents rose to 779 in which 124 were killed and 2,066 injured, while in 2006 it marginally came down to 698 in which 133 people lost their lives and 2,170 were injured, said the report.

The statement was tabled in response to a query by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politbureau member Sitaram Yechury.

Yechury, who is also a Rajya Sabha member, had asked the government if the incidents of attack on minorities had increased of late.