Violence and arson were reported across several north Indian states following protests by Dalit organizations which had called for a Bharat bandh Monday, April 2. Seven deaths have been reported so far -- five from Madhya Pradesh, and one each from Rajasthan and UP ; train services were disrupted in Delhi, Rajasthan, Bihar and Odisha. Read quick updates below.
The agitation comes after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of diluting the stringent provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
Violence across states
- Uttar Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- National Capital Region
The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of the Parliament recognizes casteist slurs as a punishable offense and the accused is denied anticipatory bail. The aim of the act is to eradicate discrimination against people from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
However, the Supreme Court last week issued some guidelines under which public servants and private individuals could be exempted from immediate arrest.
Speaking about the situation, a Delhi resident told International Business Times India: "Despite the protest, there were no issues with transportation as buses and metros were plying as usual. There was a bit of traffic jam around the India Gate area but nothing out of the ordinary."
- Section 144 imposed in Rajasthan's Barmer
- The Supreme Court has refused to hear a review petition filed on the issue by the government, who has said that dilution of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act will lead to it being ineffective.
- The CJI has said that there is no urgency to hear the matter
- Internet services have been suspended in Punjab.
- Ban on internet services in Rajasthan. No bulk SMS, MMS until 8 pm Tuesday.
- Internet services have now been suspended in Bhind and Gwalior
- Curfew has been imposed in Morena, Madhya Pradesh after five people were killed in the protest.
- Mobs are also said to be pelting stones at torching vehicles in Madhya Pradesh.
- The police had to resort to lathi-charge in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut city, reported ANI.
- Protestors have also been blocking trains in several states such as Punjab, Bihar, and Odisha.
- Protestors have also come out on the streets in Delhi, Ghaziabad and surrounding areas.
- The bandh has also forced Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to postpone the Class 10 and 12 exams in Punjab. However, exams in other parts of the country are being conducted as per schedule.
- The Delhi-Dehradun highway remains blocked and protestors were also seen shutting shops in Dehradun.
- Reports of violent clashes between protestors and the police have also been trickling in from Rajasthan.
- Security forces in large numbers have been deployed in many states, who have been trying to bring the situation under control.
- Meanwhile, several states, including Mumbai, remain unaffected. A Mumbai Police spokesperson told DNA: "Bharath Bandh will not be affecting Mumbai. We have taken all the necessary precautions."
Here are a few images from the protest