Religious riots down in 2015, but other riots rise

Religious tension in Ballabhgarh, Haryana, when 150 Muslims sought refuge in a police station; clashes between Hindus and Muslims during Ganesh festival in Belgaum, Karnataka; and riots over the birth anniversary celebrations of medieval ruler Tipu Sultan in Madikeri, Karnataka, represented Indias religious volatility in 2015. However, communal rioting cases in the country declined by a third, from 1,227 in 2014 — the year that Modi was voted PM — to 789 in 2015.

About 40% fewer Indians died or were injured — called “victims” in NCRB terminology — in 2015 (1,174) than in 2014 (2,001). Haryana, India’s 17th largest state by population, reported the most (201) communal rioting cases in 2015, with 200 dead or injured, followed by Karnataka (163 cases, 203 victims), Maharashtra (80 cases, 104 victims) and Bihar (79 cases, 146 victims). In Haryana, the rate of riots remained unchanged at 7.5 rioting cases per million. Karnataka reported an increase in riot incidence, from 0.6 rioting cases per million to 2.6 rioting cases per million.

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