Mangaluru, Jan 5, 2017: Reports indicate that the number of communal incidents in the sensitive coastal belt probably has come down drastically in 2016. ’A chronicle of communal incidents in the coastal districts of Karnataka,’ compiled by Karnataka Communal Harmony Forum indicates that the number has come down from 228 in 2015 to 104 in 2016 in undivided Dakshina Kannada.
The chronicle, compiled based on media reports, shows that there were 121 communal incidents in 2013 and 173 in 2014. Most of the incidents reported in the coastal region are related to moral policing, allegedly by Hindu/Muslim vigilantes, incidents related to religious conversion, cattle vigilantism and hate speech.
Suresh Bhat B, district president of the forum and member of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, who compiled the report, told mdia that the number of communal incidents have reduced in 2016 because of several reasons; Mainly because of effective policing. Similarly, it seems that vigilante groups from both communities may have changed their agenda. It is very difficult to analyse the agenda of perpetrators of moral policing as vigilante groups have their own motifs, either political or monetary," he said.
Further, talking about reasons that trigger moral policing and other communal incidents, he said provocative speeches by political and religious leaders lead to tension in the region. "Vigilantes become active as a result of hate speeches being made by their leaders," he said adding that the chronicle will be sent to the government.
In all, 121 communal incidents took place during 2013. There were nine incidents related to allegations of religious conversion and eight of cattle vigilantism. There were about 45 incidents related to moral policing including 23 by Hindu vigilantes and 16 by Muslims.
In 2014, out of the 173 communal incidents, 39 were incidents of moral policing allegedly by Hindu vigilantes and 14 by Muslim vigilantes. Meanwhile, nine incidents were related to allegations of religious conversion and 22 of cattle vigilantism. In addition, eight incidents of hate speech and 81 other communal incidents were reported in 2014.
In 2015, there were 228 communal incidents including 35 moral policing allegedly by Hindu groups and 11 by Muslim groups. The year witnessed eight incidents related to allegations of religious conversion, 22 of cattle vigilantism, seven instances of hate speech and 143 other communal clashes. Overall there seems to be a change in outlook.