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‘Proposed law against communal violence in negotiation stage’

New Delhi, June 26 (Calcutta Tube) A proposed law against communal violence, which the central government is reported to have drafted, is still in the negotiation stage, representatives of civil society said Saturday.

‘I saw these articles (in the media) which said that the government had incorporated the bill. This bill has not been incorporated till now, the reports are a complete lie. We have just proposed it to the National Advisory Council (NAC), the negotiations are still going on,’ said activist Shabnam Hashmi of NGO Anhad.

According to John Dayal, secretary general of the All India Christian Council (AICC), on June 24 the civil society representatives had a meeting with the NAC but none of their demands were met.

‘In 2009, we proposed few suggestions to be included in the bill which the government promised to revise. In a recent meeting, though they made few changes, the clauses we asked them (NAC) to include in the bill were not incorporated,’ he said.

Six amendments have been proposed to the Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill — command responsibility of public servant and non-state actor, requirement of new definition of sexual crime, repartition commission or council, witness/victim protection, duties/accountability of public officials and the state government should not get the power to declare a communally disturbed area.

‘The NAC proposed that areas which are commonly disturbed by violence like Kashmir and the northeast should be declared as communally disturbed areas which we rejected. If this clause is included, then the power will come in the hands of police and the armed forces who may abuse this power given to them,’ Hashmi added.

The bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha Dec 5, 2005.

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