"When we were in university, there was not a single year when there was no major communal riot in the country. Every year, there used to be somewhere, major (riots). I have not heard (of communal violence) in the 5-6 years at least or maybe 10 years," Sadhguru said in the interview with the editor of ANI, Smita Prakash.
"You have not heard of such things. Some flashpoints have happened, unfortunately. But large communal violence, as we thought as normal for this country to face, you are not hearing (about) that, which is a very positive thing," he added.
However, according to the data provided by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), over 5,000 communal riots were reported between 2014 and 2020 in the country.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which also keeps a record of incidents of communal violence, does not classify riots as "major" or "minor." According to a response provided by the ministry in 2015, 1,491 cases of communal violence took place in the two years of 2012 and 2013, bringing the total instances of communal violence in the last 10 years to close to 7,000.
It is, however, important to note that the data from the MHA and the NCRB tends to have a discrepancy.
Explaining the reason for the same in the Lok Sabha in 2017, then Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said, "NCRB collects police registered communal riots cases (FIRs) from States and UTs. As there could be multiple FIRs in a single incident of communal violence, the data on communal riots compiled by NCRB shows different figures, as compared to the Home Ministry’s data, which is based on communal incidents but not FIR-based."
NCRB DATA ON COMMUNAL RIOTS
The National Crime Records Bureau, which collects and maintains a number of cases of riots, showed that 5,417 communal riots were reported between 2014 and 2020. The NCRB data for communal riots in 2012 and 2013 were not available.
We, however, found a response from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) from 2015 that said the number of instances of communal violence in 2012 and 2013 was 1,491.
This implies that the total number of communal riots between 2012 and 2020 stands at 6,908.
The NCRB data in 2020 shows that the number of cases of communal riots has gone down since 2014, but it has increased significantly since 2019.
When it comes to deaths related to communal violence, 616 people were killed between 2012 and 2017, MHA responses showed (here and here). Data for deaths caused due to communal riots was not available after 2017.
The NCRB also records data on the total number of victims of communal incidents and it showed that 5,875 people have been victims of communal violence between 2015 and 2020. Additionally, the number of people injured in communal violence between 2012 and 2015, according to the MHA, was 8,571 (here and here).
WERE THERE NO COMMUNAL FLARE-UPS IN THE COUNTRY?
One of the biggest instances of communal violence was recorded in February of 2020, when a riot broke out in northeast Delhi between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and those who opposed the new law. At least 53 people were killed and over 500 people were injured in the riots.
There have been several instances of communal violence since 2020, including some this year.
One of the major instances of violence in 2021 was the rioting that took place in Tripura in the third week of October, with homes and places of worship belonging to Muslims being targeted.
More recently, instances of communal violence between Hindus and Muslims were seen in several states in April 2022 during Ram Navami processions.
Reports of unrest and communal violence emerged from Khargone and Barwani in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Goa, and Mumbai.
In the same month, violence was also witnessed in Delhi's Jahangirpuri on the occasion of Human Jayanti. At least nine people were injured, including seven police personnel, one of whom received a bullet wound.
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