New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) There has been a rise in incidents of communal violence and there was need to be alert in the wake of upcoming elections, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Saturday.
Shinde said he had spoken to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav with regard to fresh communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar of the state in which a television channel journalist and five others were killed Saturday.
He said 451 incidents of communal violence had taken place this year.
"It is true that communal incidents have increased since last year. This year, till now, 451 incidents have taken place," he said and added that 410 incidents had taken place in 2012.
He said Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth had held a meeting of chief secretaries and director generals of police of seven states and told them to be fully alert to incidents of communal violence.
Officials said chief secretaries and DGPs of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir attended the meet.
Shinde said there was a need to be alert in view of assembly polls in five states and the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
"Elections are coming...we have to be alert," he said.