"It is not true that crimes against Christians and other minorities are rising in the country, particularly in the states of Karnataka, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat," the minister said during Question Hour.
The number of communal incidents in these four states has gone down to 170 till October of this year, as against 204 in the corresponding period of last year, he said. To maintain communal harmony in the country, the minister said that Centre assists the state governments on specific requests and in modernisation of state police forces.
On harassment of northeast people in the national capital, the minister said the Delhi Police has been instructed to protect all those belonging to that region staying in the national capital. Chidambaram answered all supplementaries even as the Opposition and AIADMK continued chanting slogans demanding the minister's resignation for his alleged role in irregularities in allotment of 2G spectrum when he was the Finance Minister.
The minister said the number of custodial deaths were 1,574 during April-March period of this fiscal. Of these, 1,426 deaths were in judicial custody and 146 in police custody. Holding that police and public order are state subjects, he said, "It is for the state governments to take action with respect to crime. In view of this, the central government does not intervene directly in matters of custodial deaths, but does issue advisories from time to time."
The minister said section 176 of the Criminal Procedure Code has been amended vide Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2005 to provide manadatory judicial inquiry in cases of death or disappearance of a person or rape of women while in custody of the police.