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BJP attacks Congress over Anti-Communal Violence Bill

Saturday, 7 December 2013 - 3:10pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: ANI

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday criticised the Congress over the Anti-Communal Violence Bill, which is likely to be introduced during the Winter Session of Parliament.

Alleging that the bill is an attack on a state’s rights, senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “In May, there was a chief ministers meet, and at that time, at least ten to twelve states had expressed their reservations over the Anti-Communal Violence Bill. The government should understand that the people of this country reject the bill, which they are using as a vote attracting gimmick, and, to divert the attention from the main issues of price rice, corruption, Naxalism and border tensions etc. Even the states and the regional parties have rejected such a bill.”

“If you are so much concerned about the communal riots, then, they should have made a rough draft of the bill and should have sent it to the states for their consent. It is not the subject of the central government. It is a state’s duty to handle riots.” Naqvi added.

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh on Friday had defended the Anti-Communal Violence Bill, saying, “It is not a vote catching gimmick. I think in the last five or six years, we have been grappling with the problem of communal riots in some or the other part of the country and, our effort has been to create an environment where officials who have the responsibility to look at the law and order situation work as effectively as is humanly possible.

“Also, if riots cannot be prevented, then there should be adequate compensation for the victims of the riots. So, these are the two big principles, which underline what is the purpose of the Prevention of Communal Violence Bill,” Singh had said at the 11th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi.

The 'Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2013' proposes to impose duties on the Centre and state governments and their officers to exercise their powers in an impartial and non-discriminatory manner to prevent and control targeted violence, including mass violence against religious or linguistic minorities, SCs and STs.

The bill also proposes constitution of a body — National Authority for Communal Harmony, Justice and Reparation — by the Centre to exercise the powers and perform the functions assigned to it under this Act. The bill largely sticks to the provisions prepared by Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC).

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