BHUBANESWAR: Incidence of riots across the country may have shown a decline during the Narendra Modi regime, but it has reported a rise in Odisha. The State, which is tackling communal flare-ups simultaneously in three different places, recorded 200 more cases of riots in 2015 as compared to the year before.
The latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report shows that last year, the State recorded 1,976 cases of riots registering a 14 per cent increase in the incidence over 2014 when 1,732 cases were reported. This spurt also led to a rise in rate of riots from 4.1 per one lakh population to a marginal high of 4.7.
While the Naveen Patnaik-led Government can take heart from the fact that communal riots were negligible and even registered a drop from nine cases in 2014 to seven last year, it has a reason to worry because the number of industrial riots has shot up. From 40 cases in 2014, the incidence jumped to 70 last year.
State Police sources say industrial growth in Odisha could be attributed to the rise in riots in corporate complexes and sites in the last few years. Though the State Government has put in place a dedicated industrial security force, it has not been effective.
On the other hand, political riots have registered a decline - from 98 cases recorded in 2014 to 45 last year. Similarly, riots triggered by caste conflict have plunged from 134 cases in 2014 to just 14 cases last year. Sectarian violence and clashes in agrarian sector saw a dip but student riots have reported a rise. Interestingly, it is the ‘other riots’ head which has raised the overall tally sharply in the State.
The fact, however, remains that incidence of riots which had reported a decline has now registered an upswing in the State. From 2,205 cases of riots in 2012, the number had fallen to 1,937 in 2013 and 1,732 in 2014 only to rise sharply last year.
During this period, the occurrence of riots declined across the country. In 2012, about 74,633 cases were registered which dropped to 72,126 in 2013 during the UPA regime. The NDA Government took over in 2014 and the riot incidence showed a big decline to 66,042. Last year, it dropped to 65,255 incidents.
The Odisha Police database says the State has been relatively free from any form of communal discord as highest priority was accorded to communal peace and amity. Only 20 Hindu-Muslim and four Hindu-Christian discords were noticed last year while communal tension did not escalate into major law and order situation.