Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) [India], January 8 (ANI): In light of the recent attacks on idols in temples across the state, the Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday formed a state-level communal harmony committee and district level communal harmony committees, informed state Chief Secretary Adityanath Das.
The Chief Secretary and Director-General of Police of the state will be chairman and vice chairman of the state-level committee and representatives from all religions will be members, along with Principal Secretaries of home, endowments, and minority welfare.
The district-level committees will be headed by district collectors and superintendents of police (SPs).
Several protests have taken place by members of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Ramateertham, and several leaders including General Secretary P Vishnuvardhan Reddy and party president Somu Veerraj were detained by the police while they were protesting against the desecration of idols in the state.
"There is a deeper conspiracy behind the recent attacks. The objective of these committees is to spread communal harmony in the society," Das said at a press conference here while denying allegations that the investigation of these cases might be affected as the Chief Minister, DGP, and some officers belong to the same religion.
"All of them are public servants, irrespective of their religion," Das said.
"The main objective of both the State level and District level Communal Harmony Committees is to take up several confidence-building measures and send across strong communication that all the communities in State/ District are together," a statement from the AP government said.
The responsibilities of the state-level committee will include time to time discussions of issues related to communal
harmony, preparation of detailed State level Standard Operating Procedures for tackling situations that cause communal disharmony and preparation of guidelines related to the security plan for religious structures, among several others.
The responsibilities of the district-level committee will include - taking up activities that will convey that all communities in the district are together, holding regular meetings at Assembly constituency level, taking into account the occurrences of past disputes and prepare an action plan to deal with similar cases, preparation of a list of sensitive and hypersensitive areas, and periodically review the situation in such areas, the government said.
The meeting was attended by the Principal Secretary of the Chief Minister's Office Praveen Prakash, law and order ADG Ravisankar Ayyannar.
"The State Government is committed to expose and take stern action against the perpetrators of crimes against religious harmony," the officials said. (ANI)