Bhopal: In a bid to placate protesting upper caste groups, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced that misuse of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act (Prevention of Atrocities) would not be allowed in the state and no one will be arrested before an investigation. “MP mein nahi hoga SC/ST Act the durupuyog, bina jaanch ke nahi hogi giraftari (misuse of SC/ST Act won’t be allowed in the state, no arrests will be made sans thorough probe),” Chouhan tweeted yesterday.Also Read - 5-Year-Old Mumbai Girl Gets New Lease of Life After Brain-Dead MP Farmer Donates His Heart
Notably, his remarks came on a day when upper caste organisations held protests in different parts of the state against the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill 2018 which was passed by Parliament in August. Protesters took out a rally from Ganesh Mandir near Habibganj Railway Station, on their way to CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s residence, but the police stopped them midway. As per a report protesters lay down on the roads and shouted slogans against the amendments. They also waved black flags outside BJP and Congress offices. Also Read - A Mother’s Power: MP Tribal Woman Fights Leopard With Bare Hands to Save Her Son
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Calling Chouhan’s remarks an ‘eyewash’, Hiralal Trivedi, an ex-IAS officer and patron of the Samanya Pichhra Alpsankhyak Kalyan Samaj (SAPAKS), that is leading the charge against the SC/ST Act said that the CM is trying to fool people with his statement as he could not speak against the Supreme Court and Parliament which passed the amendments. He added that their struggle against the Act would continue till it’s not revoked.
A nationwide bandh called on September 6 by some upper caste groups against the restoration of some of the provisions of the SC/ST Act had met with a good response in poll-bound MP. Chouhan has also been targeted by some elements from these groups. On September 2, an organisation opposing these amendments had created ruckus at his public rally in the state’s Sidhi district.