Minorities Commission Sees Rise in Complaints From Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis

Data submitted in parliament shows that while the commission received 1,463 complaints in the 2020-21 fiscal year, it has received 1,234 complaints in less than eight months of the current fiscal year.

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New Delhi: The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has received more complaints from the Sikh, Buddhist and Parsi communities in the first eight months of the current fiscal year (2021-22) than in the entire previous fiscal year, data submitted in parliament shows.

Additionally, the data also shows that after showing a decreasing trend over the previous two financial years (2019-20 and 2020-21), the number of complaints received by the NCM this year (2021-22) may well show an increase.

According to the data provided by the Ministry of Minority Affairs in the Rajya Sabha, in response to a question by BJP MP Rakesh Sinha, shows that among the communities, the maximum number of complaints have been made by Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis over the first eight months of this fiscal year. While the number of complaints from Sikhs stands at 115 (from 99 last year), those from Buddhists have touched 35 (as against 28) and of Parsis has reached five (from two last year).

In the case of Muslims, the number of complaints has reached 864 as against 1,103 over the whole of last year. Likewise in the case of Christians, the figure stands at 88 in the first eight months of this year as compared to 103 over the whole of last year.

Likewise, the data provided as part of the reply by minorities affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the total number of complaints had been showing a declining trend over the previous two financial years. From 1,871 complaints in 2018-19, the number dropped to 1,670 in 2019-20 and then further to 1,463 in 2020-21.

But in less than eight months of the current fiscal (until November 22, 2021), the data reveals that the number of complaints received by the commission has already reached 1,234. At the current rate (with over four months remaining for the end of this fiscal), the numbers may exceed the 1,463 complaints received last year.

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In his question, Sinha had asked for the number of complaints that the NCM received in 2018-2019, 2019- 2020 and in 2021; the classification of complaints received; and the nature of complaints.

In response to the query on the nature of complaints, the data provided by the minister revealed that in 2020-21 as many as five complaints on communal violence were received as against none under the category over the previous two years. Similarly, in the last fiscal, 119 complaints of land disputes were received as against zero in the previous two years. As per this data, no complaints of hate crime were received over the three years.

The maximum number of complaints fell into the category of “law and order matter” and “other routine complaints” over all three years. The data for the current fiscal in the matter of ‘nature of complaints’ has not been provided by the ministry.

In his written answer, Naqvi also said that as per its rules, regulations and procedures, when the NCM receives a complaint, it “either calls for a report from the concerned authority and summons them, if necessary, and thereafter makes suitable recommendations or forward the complaints to the appropriate authority(s) for taking necessary action”.

He added that “the complaints concluded as propaganda, false, frivolous, and anonymous are closed with the approval of the competent authority”. The minister also revealed that the NCM has conducted 115 hearings over the past three years to “enquire whether the complaints were genuine or false”.