New Delhi, Mar 16: Members in Rajya Sabha on Monday sought stern action to check growing attacks on minorities citing instances of rape of a 70-year-old nun in Bengal and demolition of a church in Haryana, with the government saying communal amity must be maintained at all costs.
D Raja (CPI), who had given a notice for suspension of business to take up a discussion on the matter, said it was a serious situation that minorities were not safe.
"With great pain and agony I raise this issue. A 70-year- old nun in West Bengal has been raped. A church under construction has been demolished in Haryana. There is increase in attacks on Christians in the country. It is very shocking. Right wing extremist forces have become very aggressive.
"Can we safeguard the secular fabric of our nation? ... It is a serious matter and it concerns all the people of the country. I want that the business of the House be suspended and this issue be discussed under Section 267," Raja said.
He also cited the example of a senior BJP leader making a controversial statement in Guwahati that God only resides in temples and nowhere else. "What is happening in this country," he asked.
Agreeing with Raja, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the state governments should take necessary action in such cases and book the culprits. He also agreed for a discussion on the issue after proper notice.
"In its an important issue. We are against such incidents. ... Communal harmony should be maintained in the country. No one has any doubt on this. Everyone has the right to practice their religion and all state government where such incidents are happening should take stern steps against the guilty and those responsible for such incidents," Naqvi said.
Raja was supported by Ali Anwar Ansari (JD-U), Tapan Kumar Sen (CPI-M) and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC) who also sought a discussion on the issue. Indicating provocative statements by various people, Sen also said there have been "repeated use of abusive language" which were not being stopped despite assurances by the Prime Minister.
"Ministers including the Prime Mnister have assured, but the next day or even on the same day, inflammatory speeches are made to divide people on religious and caste lines. What is the sanctity of assurance made by the Prime Minister," the CPI(M) member asked.