Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday told a visiting European Union delegation that there has been “no major incident of communal violence in the past seven-eight years” under the Narendra Modi government.
Naqvi told the delegation that there is no discrimination against minorities in India and that the percentage of minorities in Central government jobs, “which was below 4 per cent in 2014, has now significantly increased to above 10 per cent”, under the Modi government, a source close to the minister said.
The six-member EU delegation, led by EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore and Ambassador of the European Union to India Ugo Astuto. met Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in New Delhi and raised concerns of discrimination against minorities in the country.
Naqvi told The Indian Express, “The delegation met me and I apprised them of the socioeconomic and educational empowerment for all communities with dignity, without any discrimination. They did raise concerns about the letter written by the bureaucrats (to the Prime Minister), and about communal violence against minorities. But I have clarified to them that there has been no major incident of communal violence in the past seven-eight years. There have been some isolated incidents, and in these the Modi government has taken strong and effective action against the perpetrators, without consideration of religion, caste or community.’’
When contacted, a source in EU said, “Gilmore met Minister Naqvi today to discuss the human rights situation in India and the situation of minorities. He expressed his concern about recent episodes of communal violence.”
Naqvi also told the delegation that several incidents, which are criminal in nature, have been given a “communal hue” to defame the Prime Minister, and the country, by certain sections as “part of their conspiracy’’, sources said. “Not a single communal riot has taken place in India since 2014. There was some conspiracy to give communal colour to a criminal incident,” a source close to Naqvi said.
Sources in the ministry said the delegation members raised the question of conversions being stopped and this affecting the right to practice religion freely, to which the minister explained that the right to religious freedom is guaranteed under the Constitution, the source said. But, he said, the government is forced and fraudulent conversions.