Another extension for Shethna commission probing polarisation

Friday, 24 January 2014 - 2:03pm IST | Place: Gandhinagar | Agency: DNA

The justice (retired) BJ Shethna-headed commission, which was formed in 2009 to inquire into polarisation along religious lines in the state, has been given another extension by the state government, informed officials.

The commission was formed in June 2009 and it was required to complete the inquiry and submit its report to the state government by January 31, 2011. The commission’s term, however, was extended by two years in January 2011, and again by a year in January 2013. Since the inquiry and the report are still unfinished, the commission has been given one more extension.

SK Nanda, additional chief secretary of home department, said that term of the commission has been extended till March 2015.

The commission was required to inquire into the reasons for polarisation of the population, and the total area covered by people following different religions in the state at the time of Independence. It was also asked to look into polarisation and migration of people following different religions every ten years after Independence, and the number of people, and size of such areas.

“The commission will inquire and report the area-wise proportion of people following different religions in new residential areas which have come into being only after August 15, 1947, and the size of such areas,” a notification issued by the state’s legal department at the time of forming the commission, stated.

The commission was also asked to make recommendations to propose steps to stop polarisation of population and for framing of proper policies for stopping polarisation in the state.

The commission was formed in the wake of reports that polarisation was taking place in the state on the basis of religion. The government had said at the time that the allegations of polarisation along religious lines were not based on scientific study, and a detailed study was needed in the matter.

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