The latest Ministry of Home Affairs report on communal violence in Kerala does not paint a rosy picture. The data shows that the state witnessed 100% rise in the number of communal incidents in 2017 as compared to the previous year.
While 12 communal incidents and one death were reported in 2017, six incidents were reported in 2016 and three in 2015.
The report states that the first death due to a communal incident in the last three years was reported in 2017 while no deaths were reported in the preceding two years.
If the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are also taken into account, then the the spike in communal incidents in the last three years, is quite worrying, the New Indian Express report says.
While 28 persons were injured in communal incidents in the state in 2017, the number stood at 10 in 2016 and three in 2015.
State police Loknath Behera however attributed the rise in incidents of communal violence to the police liberally invoking Section 153-A of IPC (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony).
â€śWhenever there is an input that people are indulging in activities disturbing communal harmony, police book the accused under Section 153 (A). Kerala Police have been watchful in this regard,â€ť the police chief said.
Sociologist and Calicut University Sociology Department coordinator Dr N P Hafiz Mohamad blamed the institutionalisation of crime propagated by religious and political groups for affecting the stateâ€™s communal harmony.
He said that communally charged political violence was the result of a planned operation.
â€śReligious bodies are spewing animosity based on race, religion and economics. The situation is going to become more grave if corrective measures are not taken,â€ť he said.