New Delhi, April 2: A nationwide bandh (shutdown) by various Dalit organisations which was called to protest against the Supreme Court’s ruling on amendments under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 turned violent as six people lost their life in different parts of the country. In Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior and Morena, four people were killed during the violent protest.
A student leader, identified as Rahul Pathak, died in firing in Morena district, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Umesh Shukla told PTI. Pathak was allegedly shot during protests by agitators and he succumbed to injuries en route to hospital, he said. Two protesters were killed in Gwalior and one in Bhind. Several policemen were also wounded. (Also Read: Bharat Bandh: Rajnath Appeals Dalit Groups For Peace as Violence Spreads Across States)
Addressing media, IG (law &order), MP confirmed the casualties and said,”4 people have died, can’t confirm number of people injured as yet. Police officials have also got injured. Police is still on field and is trying to restore peace, once that’s done we’ll file cases and begin inquiry on people who’ve caused disruption.” (Bharat Bandh Live News And Updates)
Meanwhile in Uttar Pradesh, two protesters were killed in Muzaffarnagar district. A new born baby who was on his way to Sadar hospital from Mehnar PHC in Hajipur also lost his life due to the ongoing protest across the country. Reports claimed that the ambulance of the child got stuck in a jam due to the bharat bandh, following which he could not survive and died before reaching Sadar hospital.
In Rajasthan’s Alwar district a person was also killed in firing. Speaking to reporters, Rajasthan’s DGP said,”One person has died in firing in Alwar. There was stone pelting in several places. Number of people have been detained across all districts in the state. Internet services were suspended and section 144 was imposed in certain districts.”
On the other hand, in wake of the Bharat Bandh call, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) postponed exams of class 10 and 12 students scheduled for April 2.
Initially, the Bharat Bandh call was given by Dalit group Sanvidhaan Bachao Sangharash Committee and later was backed by All India Adi Dharam Mission and All India Adi Dharam Sadhu Samaj.
Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati also extended her party’s support to the protests saying,”I support the protest against the SC/ST Act. I have got to know that some people spread violence during the protests, I strongly condemn it. Our party is not behind the violence during the protests.” However, she assured strict action against those who spread violence during the protests.
On March 20, the apex court had introduced the provision of anticipatory bail in the SC/ST act while directing that there would be no automatic arrest on any complaint filed under the law.