Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday told members of the Lok Sabha that there has been been a rise in incidents of communal violence in Uttar Pradesh in 2016 as compared to 2015.

Responding to a query, Rijiju cited government statistics, which show 155 cases of communal violence in the poll-bound state as compared to 162 that were reported in 2015. Official reports, however, indicate a nationwide decrease in the number of such incidents in 2016.

There is no official confirmation about a link between elections and cases of communal violence, but there was an increase of similar incidents in Manipur and Punjab too. Manipur reported seven cases of communal violence in 2016, while no cases were registered in the previous two years. In Punjab, one such case was reported last year while none were reported in 2014 and 2015. There was no rise in poll-bound states of Uttarakhand and Goa.

In 2015, 97 people were killed in communal violence across the country and 2,264 were injured, while the number of people killed in such incidents dropped to 86 in 2016 and those injured rose to 2,321.