New Delhi, Apr 10: Some unknown groups have called for Bharat Bandh against caste-based reservation in jobs and education today. In view of the Bharat Bandh call, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued an advisory asking all states and Union Territories to heighten security and check any possible violence. In Rajasthan, one of the five states which saw widespread violence during Bharat Bandh protests by Dalit groups against the dilution of SC/ST Act on April 2, the state government has suspended internet service in Jaipur and Alwar. All district police chiefs in Uttar Pradesh have been asked to remain vigilant to ensure that law and order was maintained during today’s Bharat Bandh. Catch live updates and news related to Bharat Bandh here.
Section 144 has been imposed in Rajasthan’s Jaipur and Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal as a precautionary measure ahead of the Bharat Bandh called by various groups on 10 April. Authorities in Morena, Gwalior, Bhind and Jaipur districts of Rajasthan beefed up the security to ward off any untoward incident during Bharat Bandh. Prohibitory orders, banning large gatherings, have been imposed in Bharatpur as well. In Uttar Pradesh, an advisory was issued to all district police chiefs, asking them to maintain law and order in the state. Internet services have been suspended in Saharanpur district in the wake of Bharat Bandh.
Earlier on Monday, the Ministry of Home Affairs asked all the state governments to be extra vigilant to avoid any violence and loss of life and property amid calls on social media for a Bharat Bandh by various anti-reservation groups. The ministry has particularly asked the state governments to make the District Magistrates and the district police chiefs “personally responsible” for the law and order situations in their areas of jurisdiction, sources said on Monday. States have been advised to beef up security and make appropriate arrangements to prevent any untoward incident, including issue of prohibitory orders, if necessary.
A Bharat Bandh on April 2 by Dalit groups against the alleged dilution of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by a Supreme Court order had led to violence and arson in many parts of the country. Six people died in Madhya Pradesh, two in Uttar Pradesh and one in Rajasthan when the protests turned violent. The apex court had, on March 20, introduced the provision of anticipatory bail in the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act while directing that there would be no automatic arrest on any complaint filed under the law. The Centre has filed a review petition in the apex court asking it to reconsider its ruling.