Bharat bandh call: Sporadic violence in parts of north India
April 02, 2018  11:27
There have been sporadic incidences of violence in Meerut, Agra, Patna, Rohtak, Delhi and Bagpat during the Bharat Bandh called by Dalit organisations and parties today to protest the amended SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

The government is expected to file a petition seeking a review of the Supreme Court order diluting the provisions of Act. The Act protects SCs and STs against discrimination and atrocities. The Supreme Court amended the SC/ST Act on March 20.

In the review petition drafted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the Centre says the the order will weaken the provisions of the Act.

The SC said that under the amended Act, public servants can't be prosecuted without the approval of the appointing authority, and private citizens can only be arrested after an inquiry.

The court also said that preliminary inquiry in a case under the Act would be conducted by the Deputy Superintendent of Police to ensure the allegations are not frivolous.

The amendment in the law was a bid to protect honest public servants discharging bona fide duties from being blackmailed with false cases under the Act.

However, dalit organisations and some political parties fear the dilution of the provisions of the Act might lead to increase in violence against Dalits.

Several dalit outfits have called for a Bharat Bandh today.

There have been sporadic incidences of violence in Meerut, Agra, Patna, Ranchi, Rohtak, Delhi, Bagpat and in Odisha.

A delegation of dalit MPs is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.

Image: A car from a media organisation was damaged in Meerut.
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