No data is available with the central government on attack on minorities in the country, Union Minority Affairs Minister Smirti Irani told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

In a written reply to a question on whether there has been a rise in attack on minorities and their institutions in India, Irani said that the state governments maintain data on law and order, registration and prosecution of crime against all citizens, including minorities, as public order and police are subjects under the State List of the Constitution.

“Central Armed Police Forces are deployed to aid and assist state governments, on their request, to maintain law and order and public tranquility,” she added.

The minister said that the Union government monitors internal security and law and order situation in the country and issues advisories to maintain peace, public tranquility and communal harmony.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs, government of India, has issued communal harmony guidelines, which, inter-alia lay down standard operating procedure to deal with situations arising out of any violence,” Irani added.

Attack on minorities

Even as the Centre said no data was available on the matter, several incidents of attack on minorities and its intuitions have been reported across the country in the past few months.

In June, United States Department of State’s Report on International Religious Freedom for 2021 had said that attacks on minorities in India, including killings, assaults and intimidation, took place throughout last year.

The report took note of an incident on September 26, when a 14-year-old Christian boy from Bihar’s Gaya district died after some persons allegedly threw acid on him. The report also referred to allegations by two Muslim men in Jamshedpur that the police on August 26 forced them to strip naked and beat them up during an interrogation.

It also said that alleged militants in Jammu and Kashmir killed civilians from Hindu and Sikh minorities, leading to “widespread fear” among the communities.

In several parts of the country, hate speech and calls for genocide against Muslims have been made. Hindutva supremacists have threatened to rape Muslim women and online abusers have created apps to put them on “auctions”.

Accused persons in many of these cases have even been granted bail. Repeat offenders like seer Narsinghanand Saraswati have made inflammatory comments while being out on bail in hate speech cases.

In addition, a fact-finding report released on December 5 found that 305 attacks had taken place on the members of the Christian community across India between January and September last year.

In another report released in December, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties listed 39 incidents of violence against Christians in Karnataka alone, between January 2021 and November 2021.