The Commission had first written to the states on November 12, 2021, and again on March 9, 2022.
THREE of the five states that the National Commission for Minorities had written to on November 12 last year asking for detailed reports by December 5 on the anti-Christian violence reported from the states have not bothered to respond to the Commission, responses by the Commission to an application filed under the Right to Information [RTI] Act have revealed.
The Commission had sent the three states – Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh – reminders on March 9, requesting for a report within 10 days, but none of the states have responded to the Commission as of March 21.
The other two states that the Commission wrote to – Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand – had responded to the Commission on December 21, 2021. The Uttar Pradesh government sent additional responses to the Commission in January and February this year.
The RTI applications were filed by Arvind Kurian Abraham, a lawyer, in January and February this year.
According to the RTI responses received from the Commission, it had written to the five states in November last year after Member of Parliament Dr. Shashi Tharoor sent a representation to the Commission highlighting the findings of a fact-finding report titled Christians under Attack in India prepared jointly by the civil society organizations Association for Protection of Civil Rights, United Christians Forum and United Against Hate, and published on October 21 last year.
As per the report, at least 305 incidents of violence against Christians across India had been reported in the first nine months of 2021, but only 30 first information reports had been registered at that point in these cases. At least 1,331 women, 588 tribals, and 513 Dalits were injured in these incidents, and in about 23 incidents, places of worship were damaged. On 85 occasions, restrictions were imposed on people to carry out religious ceremonies.
In spite of these alarming findings, the National Commission of Minorities did not convene a single meeting throughout 2021 or till February 9, 2022 to discuss the issue of harassment of, and hate crimes against, the Christian community, the Commission’s RTI responses have revealed.