VISAKHAPATNAM: District collector V. Vinay Chand has warned that severe action would be initiated against individuals and institutions destroying religious harmony in the district.
Talking to reporters after chairing the first religious harmony and peace committee meeting here on Sunday, the collector said people belonging to all religions, faith and caste have been coexisting peacefully. In order to prevent any disturbances, they had formed a district-level peace committee, which will be headed by district collector.
The commissioner of police and district superintendent of police will be vice-presidents while the joint collector would be the convener with minority welfare officials and endowment joint commissioner as members. Seven persons each representing their religion would also be members of the committee.
The committee will convene meetings in 15 Assembly constituencies in the district to take stock of the present situation and create awareness among the people on the need for maintaining communal harmony.
Seven Assembly segments are located in the urban area and eight in rural and agency regions.
The collector said that the government was determined to implement various social welfare schemes in a most transparent manner without considering factors like caste and religion.
He said that after taking into consideration the past incidents, the panel will identify sensitive places and initiate preventive measures. Security and surveillance would also be provided to important religious places and heritage structures, he added.
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