Chouhan voices concern over Communal Violence Bill

Expressing concern over the Communal Violence Bill, MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said it was intended to meet "vested interests".

New Delhi: Expressing concern over the Communal Violence Bill, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday said it was intended to meet "vested interests" and may undermine the country`s federal structure.

Making a strong pitch for rejection of the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Regulations) Bill, 2011, which is under consideration of the central government, he said its provisions may encourage feelings of intolerance on the basis of religion and casts.

"The Bill expresses feeling of mistrust in the state government machinery and lack clarity in defining crimes for organised communal violence," Chouhan said during the meeting of National Integration Council (NIC) here.

"I urge the Union Government to have faith in the state governments and strengthen them, which in turn will strengthen the nation. If state governments are weakened to serve some vested interests, the nation will become weak and it will give impetus to parochial forces," Chouhan said.

Citing some of the clauses, he said, "The provision of section 9 of this Bill has been made on the presumption that the state government institutions are deliberately provoking religious fanaticism and violence.

"There should be no scope for such mistrust in a democratic system. This may also deter public servants to perform their assigned duties," the Chief Minister said.

Noting that the country was going through a "state of uncertainty", Chouhan stressed on passing the Special Courts Bill and Madhya Pradesh Terrorism, Extremist Activities and Organised Control Bill, 2010 to deal with the problems of
corruption and terrorism respectively.

The Bills are pending with the central government.

While praising the role of the National Investigating Agency (NIA) in controlling terrorism, he emphasised that mutual coordination among state and central agencies, which is at present "deficient", should be increased.

"A flourishing democracy like India is facing multiple challenges and we have to counter them in unison and lead the nation towards new heights of progress, peace and prosperity," Chouhan said.

He also said strict action has been taken against outfits like SIMI for spreading communal violence and religious frenzy.


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