India’s pro-Hindu government has presented detailed data in parliament showing a surge in religion-based violence since it came to power four years ago. The statistics, revealed on Feb. 6, confirm a long-standing allegation by rights groups that the situation is worsening.
In 2017, 111 persons were killed and at least 2,384 injured in 822 cases of sectarian violence, the highest figure in the past three years. In 2016, 86 persons were killed and 2,321 injured in 703 incidents of religion-based violence.
Parliament was told that the highest number of sectarian incidents was reported in India’s most populous State, Uttar Pradesh, which has 200 million people, some 40 million of them Muslims.
The state, where the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to power in last year’s provincial elections, witnessed 195 incidents of religion-based violence in 2017, claiming 44 lives and injuring 452 people.