Tuesday, 21 October , 2008, 18:11
New Delhi: Orissa has recorded the highest number of communal violence incidents this year, resulting in the death 41 people, the Lok Sabha was informed today.
"A total of 695 cases of communal violence were reported from different states during the period in which 116 people were killed and left 1680 injured," Minister of State for Home Affairs Shakeel Ahmad said in reply to a question.
"Orissa recorded maximum of 159 cases till September 2008 which left 41 people dead and 76 injured. The ministry does not maintains record of the property destroyed during the violence," he said.
In terms of toll, Orissa was followed by Madhya Pradesh where 19 people were killed, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh where 11 people lost their lives and Karnataka where three persons were killed.
Ahmed was replying to a question by Parliament Members Naveen Jindal and P Karunakaran. He said the data included recent incidents of violence targeted against the members of Christian community in Orissa in the wake of murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four others on August 23 this year.
The Minister said seven advisories and communications were sent to Orissa Government between September 25 to October 18, 2008 at various levels. "Four advisories were sent to Karnataka between September 15 to October 15, 2008," he said.
"Orissa was asked to take stringent action against persons indulging in communal violence, including identification and apprehension of elements inciting communal violence and hatred," the Minister said.
Similarly, Karnataka was also asked to take immediate steps to stop violence targeted at minority communities and their places of worship, Ahmad said.