There was relative calm in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast during the year but violence perpetrated by Maoists in central and eastern states continued unabated and in one of most audacious attacks, rebels killed 28 leaders and workers of Congress in Chhattisgarh. (Agencies)
Following huge public outrage after the December 16, 2012 gang-rape incident in Delhi, the government within weeks promulgated an ordinance on sexual violence against women under which rape that leads to death of the victim can attract death penalty.
Soon, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 came into force after Parliament passed it. The new legislation provides for life term and even death sentence for rape convicts besides stringent punishment for offences like acid attacks, stalking and voyeurism.
It amends various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Indian Evidence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
The new law states that an offender can be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 20 years, but which may extend to life, meaning imprisonment for the remainder of the convict's natural life.
After Congress Working Committee's decision, the government gave its nod for creation of a 10-district Telangana and outlined the blueprint for carving out the country's 29th state from Andhra Pradesh.
The decision saw huge protests in Seemandhra region comprising coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema especially for the loss of Hyderabad, which would go to the new state Telangana.
After Union Cabinet approval, the Andhra Pradesh reorganisation Bill was sent to the President, who in turn referred the legislation to Andhra Pradesh Assembly for ratification even though it is not mandatory.
Though Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde promised to table the 'Telangana Bill' in the just-concluded winter session of Parliament, the government could not do so due to continuous protests and disruptions of proceedings in both Houses.
Communal violence erupted in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh and claimed nearly 60 lives leading to the Prime Minister describing the riots as "very sad" development. He also said only a very small group of people was responsible for creating such trouble and threat from divisive forces to the nation's integrity must be dealt with firmly.
After the riots, the Home Ministry convened a meeting of the National Integration Council (NIC) which called for a collective effort to contain communalism.
After President Pranab Mukherjee's rejection of his mercy petition, Parliament attack convict Guru was hanged in Delhi's Tihar jail in a hush hush operation leading to strong protest in his home state Jammu and Kashmir.
The Home Ministry had received flak for not informing Guru's family in advance and sending a Speed Post letter which the family got only after his execution.
Shinde was also in the news for his controversial comment accusing BJP and RSS of promoting "Hindu terrorism" through training camps. After his party distanced from his remarks, Shinde had to say that he fully endorsed Congress' stand that terrorism should not be linked with any religion.
The year saw four major terror attacks. Two near simultaneous blasts in Hyderabad claimed 17 lives; an explosion outside BJP office in Bangalore left 16 injured; six people were injured in 10 blasts in Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya; while blasts near Patna's Gandhi maidan, which was addressed by BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi claimed six lives.
In a major success, security agencies arrested one of the founders of Indian Mujahideen Yasin Bhatkal along the Indo-Nepal Bhutan, who spilled the beans about the terror group's operations in the country.
Maoist-hit central and eastern states continued to witness violence perpetrated by the rebels that included ambush on a convoy of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh's Bastar district killing 28 people including senior Congress leaders V C Shukla, Mahendra Karma, ex-MLA Uday Mudliyar, state unit chief Nand Kumar Patel and his son.
The Home Ministry quietly buried the proposal to set up controversial anti-terror body NCTC due to strong opposition by non-Congress chief ministers, who alleged that such a body, even if its powers were diluted, would hurt the country's federal structure.
Government also disclosed final census figures, according to which India's total population as on March 1, 2011 was 1,210,726,932 or 1.21 billion -- an increase of 181.96 million persons in absolute number of population during 2001-11.
There was an increase of 90.97 million males and increase of 90.99 million females. The growth rate of females was 18.3 percent which is higher than males -- 17.1 percent.
India's population grew by 17.7 per cent during 2001-11, against 21.5 per cent in the previous decade. Among the major states, highest decadal growth in population has been recorded in Bihar (25.4 percent) while 14 states and Union Territories have recorded population growth above 20 percent.
Complying with the Supreme Court directive, the Home Ministry also asked all states to ban across-the-counter sale of acid in the wake of rising incidents of attacks on women using the chemical.
There was relative calm in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast during the year but violence perpetrated by Maoists in central and eastern states continued unabated and in one of most audacious attacks, rebels killed 28 leaders and workers of Congress in Chhattisgarh.