The latest religion-based census data, compiled till 2011 but not released by the previous UPA government, may be now be made public shortly.
“It can be done,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters here when asked if the data would be released by the government.
Sources said the Union Home Ministry has approved this data to be released in the public domain and it is expected that it will be done shortly.
The census depicts the country’s population on the grounds of religious faith practised by an individual.
Incidentally, the data was collated and compiled by the census authorities by early 2014, but reportedly held back by UPA government in the wake of upcoming general election. It is believed that the data points to significant growth in Muslim population in districts along the eastern and even Indo-Nepal border, which forced the UPA to postpone its publication.
The census exercise in this regard was undertaken by the office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, a department under the Home Ministry. The data was updated till 2011 and the facts and figures were ready for release last year but the previous government did not make it public, the sources said.
Such statistics, experts said, is released within three years of data collection and being 2015, that time-limit has already been exceeded.
The last time religion-based data was released in the country was in 2004, which was a record of figures till 2001.