New Delhi, Dec 6:
“It is not a vote-catching gimmick. I think, in the last five or six years we have been grappling with the problems of communal riots in some or the other part of the country,” Manmohan Singh said during an interactive session at the HT Leadership Summit while replying to a question on the government’s proposal to introduce the bill.
“Our effort has been to create an environment where officials would have the responsibility to look after the law and order situation as effectively as is humanly possible,” he said.
The prime minister said if riots cannot be prevented, there should be adequate compensation for the victims.
“So, I think these are two basic principles which underline the purpose of the communal violence bill. I think it is a bill whose time has come,” Manmohan Singh said.
“What happened in Muzaffarnagar and some other parts of our country is a reminder that although as a country we can take pride in our ability to protect all the people of our country, yet there are times when aberrations take place,” he said.
“This bill, if it is passed by the Parliament, will help control those aberrations,” he added.
Several state chief ministers have voiced their strong opposition to the bill, saying it would be destructive to the federal structure of the constitution.