'Qualitative change in atrocities during BJP regime'

| 26 March 1999 23:26 IST

There is a qualitative and quantitative difference in case of increasing atrocities against minorities since the time the BJP-led government has taken over at the centre one year ago, observes the National Commission for Minorities.

In an interview to a local newspaper during his Goa visit, commission chairman Tahir Mahmood said his two-year career has noted fundamental difference between the nature of complaints the commission received in the first year and in the second year, which incidentally coincided with the BJP-led rule in the country.

While majority of complaints received in the first year were related to religion-based discrimination and denial of constitutional rights to the minorities, Mahmood observes that the second year has witnessed criminal atrocities against the minorities, including the religion-based physical violence and religion-based vandalism.

He also blames the central government as well as the respective state governments for not acting promptly to arrest the criminal acts against the minorities, whether in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa or elsewhere. "There was need of an iron hand to nip the trouble in the bud, learning lesson from the first tragedy in Gujarat", he opines.

Mahmood also dismisses the contention that all the incidents against one particular community were isolated and stray in nature, asking why was the same community then being victimised in every place time and again. "The very fact that Christians have been at the receiving end of atrocities in all cases is enough to show that they cannot be treated as isolated cases", he asserts.

Based on the investigations carried out by the NCM teams of all the incidents taken place in the three states, Mahmood also observes that all these incidents were perpetrated by certain elements against Christians, though he prefers not to name the elements.

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