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Bharat Bandh : Five states witnessed violence by Dalit groups

Bharat Bandh protest called by Dalit groups had swept north India and violence blew up in five states. Dalit groups are protesting against the order given by Supreme Court order which says that dilutes a law meant to protect the community.

Protestors clashed with police in five states including Punjab, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh, a man died throughout the clashes amid protestors and police. In Gwalior also orders banning large gathering had been imposed as Dalit Groups had blocked all railway tracks and also set fire to many vehicles.

On the other hand in Punjab mainly in Amritsar, Bathinda as well as Jalandhar many protestors carrying swords, baseball bats, sticks, as well as flags, forced many shops to shut down. Punjab government had taken many preventive measures including shutting down of schools and colleges, suspending mobile internet services till 11 pm and along with it postponing board examinations. Security has been stepped up in many towns in Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr, and Kapurthala as they have the highest Dalit population.

In Uttar Pradesh, especially Meerut saw widespread arson along with clashes amid police and Dalit groups. In Hapur, the highway has been blocked. CM Yogi Adityanath requested to stay calm and said that ‘state and Central government were ‘dedicated o the welfare of SC, ST and backward classes.’

Owing to Bharat Bandh protest, CBSE postponed the 10 and 12 examinations which were scheduled for 2nd April. At first, the initial call for Bharat bandh was given by Dalit group Sanvidhaan Bachao Sangharash Committee. However afterward it was supported by All India Adi Dharam Mission along with All India Adi Dharam Sadhu Samaj.

On 20th March Supreme Court banned automatic arrest along with registration of criminal cases under SC/ST act. The Supreme Court in a bid to inquire the misuse of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act 1989, ruled that prelude query in the case under the act would be done by DSP to guarantee the allegations are not frolicsome and to avoid the false implication of any not guilty. The Supreme Court also held a government official cannot be prosecuted on a charge of committing an offense under the Act without the confirmation of appointing authority. This step triggered extensive criticism along with outcry from the Dalit groups.

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