Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Amid a political war over the Muzaffarnagar riots that claimed over 40 lives and forced thousands to flee their homes, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Friday expressed grave concern over the "heightened communal tension" in the country.
Heightened communal tensions in some parts are very sad developments, the Prime Minister said while addressing an event on communal harmony in the national capital.
The Prime Minister, however, stressed that it is the duty of every citizen to fight communal and divisive forces.
"It is the duty of every Indian to resist communal forces," the PM said.
"We meet today amidst heightened communal tension in some parts of the country. It should make us reflect on our obligation to promote goodwill in the society," Dr Singh said.
Dr Singh, while maintaining that "only a small group of people are responsible for creating division in society" reiterated his government`s commitment to promoting communal harmony.
The Prime Minister also informed that he had called a meeting of the National Integration Council, a grouping of senior politicians and public figures in India, on Monday.
The reaction from the PM comes in the backdrop of a bitter political blamegame over the riots that claimed over 40 lives and forced 40,000 others to take refuge in relief camps.
The riots in UP broke out after the killing of three young men in village Kawal of Muzaffarnagar - two Jats and one Muslim. A fake video of the alleged killings and rumours fed the simmering tension between two communities, which led to clashes in several villages.
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had recently spoken about fear of more communal clashes in the run-up to next year`s elections.
The Centre has urged all 28 states to strengthen and revitalise local "peace communities" in rural areas which have representatives from different communities and have in the past been effective in containing and resolving conflicts.