New Delhi, Apr 7 (PTI) The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) received 1,498 complaints in 2017-18, the lowest since the present BJP-led NDA came to power at the Centre four years ago, and disposed of 1,263 of them, according to the panel.

Out of the total complaints made to it in the last fiscal, 1,128 came from Muslims — the largest minority community in the country population wise.

Parsis, the smallest among the six notified minority communities in the country, filed three complaints.

Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists made 100, 83, 48 and 22 complaints, respectively, while 114 grievances came from those belonging to communities other than the minority communities, the Commission said.

Out of the total, 877 complaints received during the year were related to law and order.

The panel received 128, 93, 56 and 54 grievances in connection to matters relating to service, education, religious rights and Waqf, respectively.

It also received 275 complaints related to issues other than these.

While the number of complaints received by the commission came down during the last financial year, there were more cases pending before it at the fiscal-end (235 matters) when compared to 2014-15 (12), 2015-16 (15) and 2016-17 (45).

NCM chairman Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi attributed the drop in number of cases received by the panel to better handling of law and order situation by centre and state governments.

“Except one or two states, the law and order situation in other states has bettered. We are also addressing complaints even over phone at the early stages,” he added.

On about more number of cases remaining pending this year vis-a-vis previous three years, Rizvi said it is because of officers concerned not attending hearings time-to-time.

“We are going to write to chief secretaries of states to ensure officers attend hearing time-to-time,” he said.

The commission had received 1995, 1974 and 1647 complaints during 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17, respectively.

The NCM was formed under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, to safeguard and protect the interests of minorities provided in the Constitution and laws enacted by Parliament and state legislatures.

People belonging to the communities can approach the state minorities commissions concerned for redressal of their grievances.

They can approach the NCM after exhausting all remedies available to them, its website said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.