New Delhi: Blaming "rabid" elements in the society for frequent flare-ups, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday warned that communal situation in the country remains volatile as people live under constant apprehension of minor incidents taking an ugly turn.
Addressing the meeting of the National Integration Council, he also said the challenge posed by the "misuse" of cyber space and mobile telephony needed to be addressed carefully.
Close on the heels of a minor convicted in the Delhi gang-rape case getting a three year punishment, Chavan said it was "high time to revisit the provision of the Juvenile Justice Act regarding the age of the juvenile".
The Maharashtra CM also pitched for establishing more fast-track courts for victims of sexual offences.
Maintaining that the communal situation in the country was volatile, he said most of such tensions are deliberately aggravated by some "rabid elements who have their own personal and political agenda. It is, therefore, imperative that all such situations which have slightest of potential of turning themselves into a communal riot should be dealt with proactively".
On the violence in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Chavan said it is difficult to contain the situation in villages during riots and re-building the fabric of communal harmony in rural areas takes a much longer time.
He said while the freedom of expression of an individual should not be compromised, a system should be in place to report immediately as and when hate propaganda begins over electronic or telephony media.
Chavan said while so far confidence building measures have been restricted to communication with communities prior to religious festivals, it should be done on a regular basis through an institutional arrangement as fundamentalist forces are trying to polarise the society.