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Communal violence bill facing opposition from non-Cong states

Following a directive from home minister SushilKumar Shinde, union home secretary Anil Goswami on Tuesday held a meeting with home secretaries of all states as part of the government’s bid to build a consensus on the proposed bill.

The draft bill largely sticks to the provisions in the ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2013’ prepared by Sonia Gandhi-headed National Advisory Council (NAC).

However, representatives of non-Congress state governments have expressed strong reservations against various provisions in the bill saying it would infringe the federal structure of the country.

Those states, which have strongly opposed the bill, were West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.

This comes even as the home ministry is preparing to move ahead with the bill which has been hanging fire for several years.

The bill proposes to impose duties on the Centre and state governments and their officers to exercise their powers in an impartial and non-discriminatory manner to prevent and control targeted violence, including mass violence against religious or linguistic minorities, SCs and STs.

The bill also proposes constitution of a body – National Authority for Communal Harmony, Justice and Reparation – by the Centre to exercise the powers and perform the functions assigned to it under this Act.
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