New Delhi: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Friday said that Bharat Bandh organized against the amendment to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, was a conspiracy of the BJP and an event orchestrated by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).

In a statement issued by the party, the Dalit leader said the ruling party wanted to divert people attention from the other issues like the fuel price rise and the falling value of the Indian Rupee against the US dollar.

The leader further alleged that the BJP-led NDA government is now playing dirty politics as the country is already suffering the consequences of the wrong economic policies of them.

Speaking on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said that it all depended on the mentality of the government on whether the Act was misused or not.

She even cited the example of her four governments in Uttar Pradesh and underlined how she ensured that the Act was not abused to harass anyone or any caste.

On Thursday, several groups belonging to Upper castes had called for Bharat Bandh in protest against the amendments in the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Rajasthan were the most affected states due to the bandh. Organisations that had joined the protest include Akhil Bhartiya Kshtriya Mahasabha, Rashtriya Brahmin Mahasabha, Garib Sena, Karn Rajpoot Samaj, Rajputana Youth Brigade, Anarakshit Samaj Party, and dozens of other groups.

In these cities, many shops and business establishments, schools and other educational institutions were closed.  In some places, rail movements were disrupted. The agitators had blocked trains and put up roadblocks on the national and state highways.

The Supreme Court had on March 20 taken note of the rampant misuse of the stringent SC/ST Act against government servants and held that there shall be no immediate arrest on any complaint filed under the law. The March 20 judgment had faced a nationwide protest by the various rights organisations.

The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018 was passed in the Lok Sabha on August 6. The Congress later alleged that the Centre has now passed the Bill in order to lure voters of the SC/ST community ahead of the Lok Sabha polls and Assembly elections in three states.

(With agency inputs)