New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday voiced concern over increase in incidents of communalism, violence against women and intolerance and prejudice in some parts of the country against people who come from other states and pressed for addressing them urgently.
Addressing a conference of Governors here, he also underlined the "critical" need for greater coordination between the Centre and states as well as between states to defeat terrorism and Left-wing extremism.
Along with terrorism and Naxalism, he highlighted three issues "which are a cause of concern to all of us" -- communal disturbances, violence against women and intolerance.
"The first is the increase in incidents of communal disturbance in the past year, especially in some states, Singh said, apparently referring to violence in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh a few months back.
"All state governments should do their utmost in reversing the situation. It is necessary for the state governments, and also the central government, to do everything in their power to prevent communal disturbances," he said.
The Prime Minister said it is essential to ensure that the guilty are punished and responsibility for lapses fixed once communal disturbances occur.
In this context, he said Governors should take special interest in promoting communal harmony.
Referring to incidents of violence against women, Singh said his government has taken several steps to address the issue, including amending the law to provide for speedy justice and enhanced punishment in cases of sexual assault.
"However, we, as a society, need to do much more in this area," he said and urged the Governors to press upon the state governments to give enhanced attention to issues relating to women.