Bharat Bandh Live: Seven people have been killed in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and UP
Nine people have been killed in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and UP as protests by Dalit groups against a Supreme Court ruling on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act turned violent. In UP, as many as 448 people were arrested
for allegedly being involved in vandalism, arson or on other charges while a high alert was sounded across the state's 75 districts. Protesters protested across north India and violence erupted as Dalit groups tried to enforce an all-India shutdown
over the Supreme Court order. Protesters clashed with police in parts of Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Punjab came to a virtual standstill as the government shut schools, strengthened security, and put the army on stand-by. The Dalit organisations have called for a bandh to protest the alleged dilution of the the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989. The top court recently banned automatic arrests and registration of criminal cases under the SC/ST Act. The Centre has appealed to Supreme Court to review the order.
Here are the Updates for the Bharat Bandh Dalit Protest:
CPIM Blames Centre Over SC/ST Law Row
The CPI(M) condemned the violence resulting in deaths of agitators and accused the central government of failing to present an effective case on the issue in the court. In a statement, it said the response to the call for a 'Bharat bandh' by various Dalit organisations had been widespread in states like Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.
"This shows the anger against the Supreme Court's decision to dilute the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act", it said. The party claimed that the situation had arisen because of the failure of the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre. "The politburo condemns the brutal police firing which has led to the death of four people in Gwalior, Bhind and Morena in BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh. In many other places, there have been attacks by police on protesters. One person has died in Alwar, Rajasthan," the statement alleged.
Amarinder Singh Asks Security Forces To Stay On Alert
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today directed the security forces to stay on alert in view of the "volatile situation" prevailing in some of the neighbouring states during Bharat Bandh called by various SC/ST organisations, reports PTI. The chief minister, who personally monitored the situation throughout the day, claimed Punjab remained "largely peaceful" as a result of the security blanket in place.
Sticks In Hand, Protesters Bring, Life To Standstill In Rajasthan
The slogans were loud. Jai Bheem, the crowds roared, raising their sticks, and bringing life to a standstill in several parts of Rajasthan today. Trouble started soon after 9am when hundreds of people, mostly men, came out to the streets in the state to join a Bharat bandh called by Dalit organisations protesting against a recent Supreme Court decision to amend the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The demonstrators -- many carrying blue flags -- marched across towns and cities, blocking traffic, vandalising shops and torching vehicles. In some areas, rail services were disrupted. The agitators squatted on rail tracks in Alwar and climbed on to a train near Jaipur, media reports said. The police said a 28-year-old man was killed when a mob attacked a police station and fired at security forces in the Khairthal area of Alwar.
Dalit Protests: Jet Airways Waives Off Penalty Charges
In wake of Bharat bandh and reports of unrest, Jet Airways today said it was waiving off penalties for change of dates and providing refunds on all confirmed tickets booked today for flights operating to and out of Chandigarh, Patna and Amritsar. "Due to unrest in Chandigarh, Patna & Amritsar, we are waiving off penalties for date/ flight change, refund, no-show & fare difference (if any) on all confirmed tickets for flights to/out of these cities for travel on April 02," the airline tweeted.
Punjab's Congress Unit Submits Memorandum To Governor
A delegation of Punjab Congress today met Governor VP Singh Badnore here and submitted a memorandum urging the Union government to safeguard the interests of the SC/ST community in the country. Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar, who led the delegation, later said the NDA government had not pursued the case before the Supreme Court properly.
Dalit Activists Stage Protests In Himachal Pradesh
Dalit activists staged protests in several places across Himachal Pradesh today against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. A strike call given by various Dalit outfits was, however, largely ineffective in the hilly state. The protests were peaceful. A large number of people led by former minister Singhi Ram and former Shimla mayor Sohan Lal assembled at Cart Road in Shimla and blocked traffic for an hour. Dalit activists took put protest marches in Paonta and other places.
Prakash Ambedkar Blames Centre, Supreme Court For Violence
Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar today said the Supreme Court and the Centre were responsible for today's violence in various states during the nationwide bandh called by Dalit outfits, reports PTI. At least seven persons were killed and many injured in violence as Dalit protesters blocked trains, clashed with police and set fire to vehicles across several states during the bandh against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
"Government and the Supreme Court are responsible for this violence. The government is creating an unsafe atmosphere for Dalit communities while the apex court's recent order diluting the SC/ST Atrocities Act has forced the community to take to streets," said Mr Ambedkar, the grandson of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar.
Thousands Arrested In Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha
Rail and road traffic got disrupted and properties vandalised across Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha today as violence erupted during protests by Dalit and tribal organisations against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, reports PTI.
Police arrested thousands of agitators in Bihar and Jharkhand during the day-long bandh which threw life out of gear in several states across eastern part of the country. Though the impact of the bandh was minimal in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed support to the Dalit cause.
Over 100 Trains Affected, 9 Cancelled
Over 100 passenger and mail train services were today affected, nine were cancelled and a few more short-terminated due to Dalit agitations across states, reports PTI. Of the nine train services cancelled, five were scheduled to have run today. The railways cancelled the Amritsar-Jaynagar Saryu Yamuna Express, New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express, Jaipur-Chandigarh Intercity Express, Ajmer-New Delhi Shatabdi Express and the Sealdah-Varanasi Express, scheduled to have run today.
The national transporter also cancelled three trains -- the Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabdi Express, the Amritsar-Chandigarh Superfast Express and the Chandigarh-Jaipur Intercity Express -- which were scheduled to run tomorrow, along with the Jaynagar-Amritsar Shaheed Express, scheduled to run on April 4. The railways also short-terminated and partially cancelled 17 trains scheduled for today and tomorrow, including the New Delhi-Amritsar-New Delhi Swaran Shatabdi Express and the New Delhi-Ajmer Shatabdi Express.
Stray Violence Mars Shutdown In Maharashtra
Stray incidents of violence marred the 'Bharat Bandh', called by various Dalit organisations on Monday, and evoked partial response in Maharashtra, though Mumbai functioned near normally, reports IANS.
While Mumbai remained largely unaffected by the shutdown call, a group of Dalit activists of the Bhim Army staged noisy protests in Bandra outside the Mumbai Suburban District Collectorate. In Nagpur, a large number of protesters took the streets shouting slogans, attempted to stage road blocks and torched a public bus even as police chased away the demonstrators and the fire brigade snuffed out the blaze. Large groups of agitators took to the roads in Nandurbar, pelted stones at public buses and other vehicles, forcing the authorities to withdraw all bus services, and some educational institutions declared an off for the day.
Protests Across Gujarat Over SC/ST Act Verdict
Normal life was disrupted in various parts of Gujarat today as protests by Dalits against alleged dilution of the SC/ST Act turned violent and police resorted to teargas-shelling and lathicharge at some places, said officials. Agitators disrupted road and rail traffic, and asked commercial establishments to down their shutters as they went around enforcing a nationwide bandh called by various Dalit groups.
The police lobbed teargas shells and resorted to cane-charge to scatter a mob in Sarangpur area of Ahmedabad, an official of the city police control room said. The area, which has a sizeable Dalit population, saw some protesters forcing shop owners to close their establishments and some locals also alleged incidents of vandalism and loot.
RSS Dubs Violence During Dalit Protests As Unfortunate
The RSS on Monday dubbed as "unfortunate" the violence in the wake of nationwide protests against the dilution of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and urged the people to contribute in maintaining peace, reports IANS.
"The violence on Supreme Court's order over SC/ST atrocities act is unfortunate. The RSS does not agree with the order and the government, by filing a review petition in the apex court, has taken an appropriate decision," Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) national General Secretary Suresh Joshi said in a statement. The RSS leader urged the people to contribute in establishing co-ordial atmosphere in the society and evade any kind of vicious propaganda.
UP minister Sidharth Nath Singh says that violence in the name of protests is not acceptable and strict action will be taken. He adds, "SP-BSP politics has destroyed UP. This is Yogi raj and not gunda raj."
Dalit Protests Across Bihar Disrupts Life
Large-scale protests were witnessed in various parts of Bihar today, reports PTI. According to the police, the bandh supporters stormed the Patna Junction railway station, forcibly closed the ticket counters and squatted on railway tracks, disrupting the movement of a number of trains. At the Bhikhna Pahari locality in Patna, students came to blows with the bandh supporters, who forced the closure of numerous coaching institutes in the area.
Reports of rail traffic disruption also came from districts such as Darbhanga, Gaya, Jehanabad, Begusarai, Bhojpur and Araria. Long queues of vehicles, stranded on account of road blockades at various spots, were seen on the national and state highways. In Darbhanga, the bandh supporters stormed the premises of a court and indulged in vandalism of properties. The glass panes of a showroom were smashed by the agitators at Gopalganj. The protests in Purnea were notable on account of large-scale participation of women. The bandh supporters allegedly beat up the locals in Nawada, damamged the vehicle of a block development officer at Mokama in rural Patna and clashed with the police in Rohtas.
1 Dead In UP In Dalit Protests
UP police today said that a person has died and three others were seriously injured during Dalit protests in the state. Police said that there will be an inquiry on people spreading rumors on social media. The police have also detained 448 people for legal action. DIG, Law and Order of UP said only 10% of the state was disrupted during the protests.
The protests are part of a 'Bharat bandh' called by Dalit organisations against a Supreme Court March 20 order that diluted The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
Rajnath Singh Appeals For Calm
Home Minister Rajnath Singh today appealed to all political parties to help in maintaining harmony among different sections of the society. "I also appeal to the people, not to fall prey to rumours and false propaganda unleashed by mischievous elements," tweeted Mr Singh.
He added, "The Govt. of India is committed to ensuring welfare of SC/STs and other weaker sections and also guaranteeing them full protection of law. The Govt. has already filed a review petition in the Supreme Court to maintain the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act in its presents form."
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Appeals For Calm
As Dalit protests turned violent and curfew was imposed in many places, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan appealed for calm. "The Union government has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court. Our government is committed to protect the rights of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. People should maintain peace," Mr Chouhan said.
The protests are part of a 'Bharat bandh' called by Dalit organisations against a Supreme Court March 20 order that diluted The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
States asked to take preventive steps and maintain public order to ensure safety of lives and property, says home ministry on Dalit agitation. The government is closely monitoring the situation and is in constant touch with states and central forces have been made available, says a spokesperson.
800 Anti-Riot Policemen Rushed To UP, Madhya Pradesh
The Centre today rushed 800 anti-riot policemen to Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh after violent protests erupted during a nationwide bandh called by Dalit outfits against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, reports PTI. Two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel have been sent to Meerut and one company each to Agra and Hapur (all in UP), a home ministry official said. A company of RAF comprises around 100 personnel.
Two companies each of the RAF have been sent to Bhopal and Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh to assist the state administration in tackling the situation. Curfew was imposed in Morena, Gwalior and Bhind districts of Madhya Pradesh.
Fundamental Intent Of SC/ST Act Should Be Preserved: Arvind Kejriwal
The "fundamental intent" of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act should be preserved, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today and extended his Aam Aadmi Party's support to Dalit groups protesting against the alleged dilution of its provisions, reports PTI. The AAP chief tweeted, "Under the situation resulting due to Supreme Court's decision on SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, AAP is with the movement of SC/ST community. Central government should deploy top lawyers for the petition in the Supreme Court and the need and fundamental intent of the Act should be preserved.
Shocked And Pained: Mamata Banerjee
Reacting to the ongoing violence as Dalits took to street to protest against a Supreme Court ruling, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, "We are shocked and pained that some of my Dalit brothers and sisters have been killed and injured. We support their cause. I appeal for peace."
Trains Diverted Due To Bharat Bandh
Dalit Protests Hit Normal Life In Parts Of Jharkhand
Normal life was disrupted in parts of Jharkhand today as several Dalit organisations joined the countrywide agitation. Majority of shops downed their shutters, anticipating violence. In Palasboni area, on the outskirts of Jamshedpur, a truck carrying miscellaneous goods was set ablaze allegedly by protesters early today, the police said. As many as 652 protesters were rounded up from various parts of the Steel City, said Sudhir Kumar, deputy superintendent of police, composite control room (CCR). Train services, however, remained unaffected by the bandh in the Tatanagar section of Chakradharpur division. The situation was no different in Palamu district, where around 200 bandh supporters were taken into custody, a senior police officer said.
In Dumka and Pakur districts, too, the police detained a large number of protesters when they were allegedly trying to enforce bandh on thoroughfares and markets areas, said station in-charge of Dumka town, Devbrat Poddar.
In Punjab's Bathinda, the protesters turned violent. Two people were injured in a clash between the protesters and shopkeepers near Mehna Chowk. In Kapurthala, the protesters allegedly damaged about a dozen two-wheelers, smashed window panes of a lawyer's car and vandalised a chemist shop, police said. The agitators also disrupted traffic on the Kapurthala-Ferozepur section by staging a 'dharna' on the rail track at the Khojewal and Kapurthala railway stations, reports PTI.
All the roads leading to Kapurthala-Jalandhar, Kapurthala-Nakodar, Kapurthala Sultanpurlodhi and Subhanpur and Kartarpur were blocked by the agitators, police said. The railway track was blocked at a crossing in Jalandhar. The Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur road was also blocked for a while at Nasrala, police added.
Bharat Bandh Disrupts Life In Punjab, Haryana
Protest marches were taken out by the Dalits in Jalandhar, Patiala, Hoshiarpur, Ropar, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Bathinda, Kapurthala and Phagwara in Punjab, and at Panchkula, Ambala, Kaithal, Hisar, Rohtak, Yamunanagar, Faridabad and Gurugram in Haryana as well as in Chandigarh. Markets wore a deserted look as shops and other commercial establishments remained closed and the vehicles remained off the road, reports PTI.
The Indo-Pakistan bus service, 'Sada-e-Sarhad', running between Delhi and Lahore was also disrupted. The Lahore-bound bus was halted at Sirhind and the Delhi-bound bus at Amritsar, police said, adding these buses will proceed to their destinations later in the afternoon. The protesters squatted on the railway tracks at a few places in Punjab and Haryana, paralysing the rail traffic, railway officials of the Ambala and Ferozepur rail division said.
Union Minister Ananth Kumar says till Congress was in power, BR Ambedkar was denied Bharat Ratna. "It was only by a non congress government, with @BJP4India 's support, he was conferred the Bharat Ratna," he tweeted.
Detained The Main Conspirator Of Violence: Meerut Police
"He is the main conspirator of this violence and we have detained him," says Manzil Saini, SSP Meerut on former BSP MLA Yogesh Verma.
Rahul Gandhi Has No Moral Right To Talk About Dalit Issues: Ram Vilas Paswan
Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan today hit out at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, saying he had no moral right to attack the BJP over Dalit issues as his party did "nothing" for the community or its icon B R Ambedkar while the present government, he asserted, had done a lot, reports PTI.
With opposition parties targeting the BJP after a Supreme Court order on a law for atrocities against Dalits, he strongly defended the BJP and praised the government for filing a review plea against the verdict within two weeks. At a press conference, the Dalit leader and Lok Janshakti Party chief also dismissed speculation about his future move, saying he was in the BJP-led NDA and would continue to strengthen it. He claimed that it would come back to power again after the Lok Sabha polls next year.
Police Baton-Charge Protesters In Haryana
Police lathi-charge protesters in Haryana's Yamunanagar as they were protesting. Several Dalit organisations have called for a "Bharat bandh" today to express their concerns over the dilution of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The Supreme Court had, on March 20, diluted the provisions of the Act and said government servants should not be arrested without prior sanction and private citizens, too, should be arrested only after an inquiry under the law. Dalit organisations, including the Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch, and some political parties fear that the dilution of the provisions of the Act may lead to increase in violence against Dalits.
BJP Is Against Dalit And Backward Classes: Mayawati
BSP chief Mayawati says, "Dalit and adivasis have been campaign for their rights. Our party will not sit quietly if their voices are not heard. The BJP is against Dalit and backward classes. The anti-minority charges against the BJP is not for nothing."
She adds, "BJP is using its power and resources to encourage this injustice. The law of the country doesnt allow this."
Additional Forces Deployed In Rajasthan
Nearly 25-30 companies of additional forces were today deployed across Rajasthan in view of the state-wide protests by Dalits against the dilution of the SC/ST act, police said. The authorities also suspended mobile internet services and imposed section 144 in Barmer, Jalore, Sikar and Ahore following reports of violence there, reports PTI.
The prohibitory orders were issued after the protests across the state, in response to the nation-wide bandh call given by Dalit groups, turned violent in some areas where several vehicles were torched. "However, the situation is now under control. 25-30 companies of additional forces have been deployed to tackle the situation. Section 144 has been imposed in Jalore, Barmer, Sikar and Ahore," Additional Director General of Police (law and order), NRK Reddy said.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad says, "Our accusation is that the central government did not make any efforts to ensure that the act is not diluted. Central Government doesn't send any senior law officer to protect the law."
Read: Army Called In As Madhya Pradesh Sees Worst Violence During Bharat Bandh
Four people died and six others were injured in Madhya Pradesh today as Dalit groups hit the streets across the country against a Supreme Court order, which, they said diluted a law that ensured their safety. The Army was called in to control the situation in Bhind, and the authorities declared curfew in three districts.
Atrocities Against SC/ST Increased After NDA Came To Power: Congress
Despite the law there were atrocities against SC/ST and it increased after NDA came to power, says Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. "Minorities, weaker sections were targeted especially."
Supreme Court Decision On SC/ST Act 'Appropriate': UP Minister
Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar today supported the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, arguing that "innocent people" were harassed, reports PTI.
"The decision of the Supreme Court is absolutely appropriate, as the SC/ST Act is widely misused similar to the Dowry Prohibition Act. Innocent people are harassed in the garb of this Act. A case should be registered only after probe by a magistrate-level officer," Mr Rajbhar told reporters in UP's Balia. The president of the SBSP, an ally of the BJP, added that the guilty should not be spared, but "innocent person should not be unnecessarily harassed".
1 Dead In Rajasthan's Alwar
One person died in Rajasthan's Alwar today. The deceased has been identified as Pawan, son of the village head of Jhadholi, reports NDTV's Harsha Kumari Singh. Police fired on protesters as they tried to set a police station on fire. Shots were also fired in Alwar city outside Neb police station where protesters set a police vehicle on fire.
Traffic Chaos In Delhi
Traffic came to a standstill in Lutyens' Delhi today as hundreds of protesters marched in unity against the dilution of the SC/ST Act. The protesters gathered at Mandi House protesting the Supreme Court order banning automatic arrest and registration of cases for alleged harassment of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, reports PTI.
They blocked road outside the Mandi House Metro Station, bringing traffic to a halt as commuters faced inconvenience while travelling towards ITO and other stretches. The protesters also blocked one of the carriageways of Barakhamba Road affecting the traffic on the stretch, police said. The city police has also curtailed the traffic movement on Sansad Marg from Patel Chowk to Jantar Mantar.
4 people have been dead in Madhya Pradesh, 2 in Gwalior, 1 in Bhind and the other person in Morena. Violence was reported in the Gwalior-Chambal region and Bhind. At one place two groups clashed and pelted each other with stones while several vehicles were set on fire.
Supreme Court declines urgent hearing of plea in the SC/ST verdict of top court diluting the law.
19 people have been injured in Gwalior out of which 2 people are in a critical condition. Internet services have also been blocked in Gwalior district till 6.00 am tomorrow in Madhya Pradesh.
Tejashwi Yadav with MLAs stage a protest against the alleged dilution of the SCs/STs Act by Supreme Court.
Traffic chaos in Delhi over Dalit protests
The protesters gathered at Mandi House in Delhi protesting the Supreme Court order banning automatic arrest and registration of cases for alleged harassment of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The city police has also curtailed the traffic movement on Sansad Marg from Patel Chowk to Jantar Mantar. The Delhi Traffic Police is also tweeting out instructions on their Twitter handle.
Visuals from protest in Patna. Many vehicles have been targeted and their window panes smashed. At some places, government property was also damaged.
Visuals from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath appealed to the protesters to maintain peace in the state.
Deependra Pathak, Spokesperson Of Delhi Police says, "Delhi Police is alert. We have adequate police deployment at places and senior officials are also present in the field. All steps will be taken to maintain law & order."
Protest turn violent in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh.
Union Minister, Ramvilas Paswan says, "One can understand if people protest, but why is opposition playing politics? Parties like Congress who did not give Bharat Ratna to BR Ambedkar are now acting like his followers."
Visuals of Dalit protest in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Dalit groups said the court could have come to a different conclusion had the Union government highlighted two key facts - the high rate of atrocities on the community and the abysmally low rate of conviction.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh says that the,"We have filed the review petition in Supreme Court. I appeal to all political parties & groups to maintain peace and not incite violence."
One person dead in Morena, Madhya Pradesh. Curfew has been imposed in Madhya Pradesh. One journalist from a local channel has also been injured in the clashes.
Section 144 Imposed In Gwalior
Curfew imposed in parts of Gwalior & Section 144 which prohibits assembly of more than 4 people in the area imposed in Sagar.
An apparel showroom has been vandalised in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Protests in Jaipur by Dalit organizations to protest supreme court order on SC/ST Act.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad a while ago said, "As far as the larger narrative of late, that discrimination against Dalits is becoming an issue for pure political aims, the BJP wishes to say with all authority at its command that the Narendra Modi government's commitment to welfare of Dalits and scheduled tribes is complete and total."
Visuals of violent protests in Madhya Pradesh. The situation is getting tense in several parts of the country. The Bharat Bandh has been called by several Dalit organisations against the alleged "dilution" of the SCs/STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath says, "The central and state governments are dedicated towards the welfare of backward castes, SC & ST. I appeal to all to not disturb the law and order. If at all there are any issues you can bring them to government's notice."
Government committed to Dalit welfare and protection: Ravi Shankar Prasad
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Law Minister says, "I wish to convey that today we've filed a petition on the judgement by Supreme Court on the SC/ST act. We have filed a comprehensive review petition which will be presented before the court by the senior lawyers of the government."
Clashes take place between protesters and Police personnel in Ranchi.
Dalits have been kept at the lowest rungs of the society, tweets Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Protests also intensify in Mandi House in Delhi. Activists from various Scheduled Castes (SC) organisations held protests in Punjab and Haryana against the dilution of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act following a Supreme Court order.
Protests turn violent in Barmer, Rajasthan. Cars and property have been severely damaged.
Protests turn violent in Meerut
Protests turn violent in Meerut where cars have been damaged. Dalit organisations' call for a nationwide strike in protest against the alleged dilution of SC\ST Atrocities Act.
A district police official said."In several localities in Patna, supporters of the Bhim Army forced shops to close and blocked roads by burning tyres". Of Bihar's total 10.5 crore population, scheduled castes account for 15.5 lakhs.
With posters, banners and flags, supporters of the Bhim Army and other Dalit organidations, halted over a dozen long-distance trains. As a result, passengers were stranded at Patna, Gaya, Jehanabad, Bhagalpur, Ara, Darbhanga, Araria, Nalanda and Hajipur railway stations, according to reports.
Protesters stop train in Punjab's Patiala. Four battalions of the Rapid Action Force, four of Border Security Force, along with 12,000 additional police personnel will remain on duty Monday to maintain law and order in Punjab.
Visuals of protest in Rajasthan. Violent protests are also being reported from other parts of the country too.
The protests are now spreading to other cities with a nationwide shutdown call for Bharat Bandh. Visuals of protest from Agra. The shutdown has been called by Dalit groups against a recent Supreme Court ruling that they claim goes against the welfare of people bracketed under Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) categories.
The Bharat Bandh is having an impact in Bihar and Odisha, where protesters have blocked railway tracks.
Protestors stop train at Forbesganj, Bihar. Dalits and tribal communities were upset, after the Supreme Court in its order on March 20, banned the automatic arrest of anyone booked under SC/ST Act.
Punjab On Alert, Protests In Bihar As Dalit Groups Call Bharat Bandh: 10 Facts
Internet services in the state have been suspended since 5 pm yesterday and will continue till 11 pm today. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has appealed for calm and has requested the army to be on stand-by. The Bharat Bandh is already having an impact in Bihar and Odisha, where protesters have blocked railway tracks.
Visuals from Bihar's Arrah where protestors block train.
Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi says,"Of course a review petition of (SC/ST protection act) should be filed and its the right of the Government, its a legal procedure. The basic question is to why they were unable to present the case properly before SC and lost, inquiry is needed."
Visuals of security deployment from Amritsar in Punjab. Punjab. according to estimates has 32 percent SC/ST people and is becoming the epicentre of protest.
Movement of train in Odisha's Sambalpur blocked by protesters against Supreme Court's decision on SC/ST Protection Act.
Chief Minister of Punjab, Amarinder Singh appealed to the people of the state to maintain law and order in the larger public interest.
The Supreme Court on March 20 diluted the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, in a bid to protect honest public servants discharging bona fide duties from being blackmailed with false cases under the Act.