A total of 1,807 communal riot cases were registered across the country between 2018 and 2020 in which 8,410 persons were arrested, the Centre has told the Rajya Sabha.
In a reply to a question on Wednesday, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said that 512 communal riot cases were registered across India in 2018, 438 in 2019 and 857 in 2020. He said that the highest number of cases were registered in Bihar, followed by Maharashtra and Haryana.
Rai said 4,097 people were arrested for the riots in 2018, 2,405 in 2019 and 2,063 in 2020. A total of 4,169 people were chargesheeted in the cases in 2018, 2,281 in 2019 and 1,908 in 2020, the minister said.
This was an almost 95% rise in communal cases in 2020.
Of these, 200 people were convicted in 2018, 332 in 2019 and and 229 in 2020.
In Bihar, 419 cases of communal riots were registered between 2018 and 2020 in which 2,777 people were arrested and 62 convicted.
Maharashtra saw 167 communal riot cases in the three years. A total of 1,332 people were arrested and 10 were convicted.
In Haryana, 146 riot cases were registered between 2018 and 2020, in which 294 people were arrested. All of them were chargesheeted but only three convicted. The convictions took place in 2019.
Meanwhile, Rai informed the House that police and public order are state subjects. He said it was their responsibility to maintain law and order, protect people and investigate and prosecute crimes, including cases of communal violence.
“The state governments are competent to deal with such offences under the extant provisions of laws,” he said.
The minister, however, said that the Union government also monitors internal security and provides appropriate advisories to maintain peace and communal harmony.
“Central Armed Police Forces are deployed to aid and assist state governments, on their request, to maintain law and order and public tranquillity,” he added.