Lucknow, Apr 3: A 68-year-old man died in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor on Monday as the ambulance carrying him couldn’t reach hospital due to protests during a nationwide shutdown – Bharat Bandh – against the dilution of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act following a Supreme Court order.
The elderly man died after the ambulance was unable to make it to the hospital due to a cramped road crowded by protestors. His son lifted him on his shoulders and ran towards the hospital which was a kilometer away. However, he was declared dead on arrival.
Violent protests had erupted in parts of Uttar Pradesh following a call for Bharat Bandh by Dalit organisations. One person was killed and over 100 were injured during violent protests. protesters attacked shops, looted some and pelted stones at police in Hapur, Agra, Meerut, Saharanpur and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi.
Maximum violence in the state was reported from western Uttar Pradesh, where the protesters took to the streets and went on a rampage. Two persons were critically injured in police firing in Muzaffarnagar, one of whom later succumbed.
The Supreme Court had held on March 20 that police will hold an inquiry to ascertain the veracity of the complaint filed under the act before acting on it. The Central government has filed a review petition on the verdict. However, the apex court on Monday declined an urgent hearing on the matter.