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Bharat Bandh: 8 dead, hundreds arrested in violent Dalit protests across India; 10 updates

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Bharat Bandh: 8 dead, hundreds arrested in violent Dalit protests across India; 10 updates Bharat Bandh

Bharat Bandh A bike set on fire by a group of protesters during 'Bharat Bandh' call given by Dalit organisations against the alleged dilution of Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes Act, in Ghaziabad on Monday. , PTI

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Written By

DNA Web Team

Updated: Apr 2, 2018, 11:58 PM IST

At least eight persons were killed and hundreds injured on Monday in violence across several states as protesters blocked trains, clashed with police and set fire to private and public properties, including police posts, during a nationwide bandh called by Dalit groups, officials said.

The government moved a review petition in the Supreme Court on Monday. Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Centre has 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," he told the media.

The Supreme Court had 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.

The verdict is being widely criticised by Dalits and the Opposition who claim that the dilution of the Act will lead to more discrimination and crimes against the backward community.

Here are the top developments of Bharat Bandh:

1. In Uttar Pradesh, one person was killed in Muzaffarnagar and nearly 75 persons including 40 policemen were injured in violent protests in various parts of the state. About 448 trouble-makers, including a former BSP MLA, were arrested in connection with the violence during Bharat Bandh.

2. In Madhya Pradesh, at least six people were killed including four Dalits and two upper caste Hindus, while several others were injured across the state, the officials said. MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan appealed to the protesters to maintain peace in the state.

3. In Rajasthan, one person was killed and 26 others, including nine policemen, were injured in Alwar. The Indian Army had to be called in to con trol the situation. After violent protests, the Alwar administration imposed Section 144 in the area.

4. Punjab, Haryana worst-hit : Protest marches were taken out by the Dalits in Jalandhar, Patiala, Hoshiarpur, Ropar, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Kapurthala and Phagwara in Punjab, and at Panchkula, Ambala, Kaithal, Hisar, Rohtak, Yamunanagar, Faridabad and Gurugram in Haryana as well as in Chandigarh. The Indo-Pakistan bus service, 'Sada-e-Sarhad', running between Delhi and Lahore was also disrupted.

5. Over 100 passenger and mail train services were on Monday affected and two trains, including a Shatabdi, were short-terminated as protesters squatted on the tracks, officials said, adding that the routes were largely restored.

6. Schools to remain shut in Uttar Pradesh's Agra city on Tuesday (April 3) in lieu of protest against the alleged dilution of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by the Supreme Court. Also all s chools and colleges will be shut in Meerut.

7. Expressing her party's support to protests, BSP supreme Mayawati alleged that some anti-social elements instigated violence leading to loss of lives and damage to properties.

8. Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, a prominent Dalit leader and head of NDA constituent LJP, appreciated the government's quick decision.

9. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged that incidents of atrocities on Dalits and minorities have increased in the country since the NDA came to power in 2014, while AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal extended his support to the protesting groups.

10. Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed for peace, while Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government was not a party to the Supreme Court decision on the SC/ST Act and "respectfully" did not agree with its reasoning behind the verdict.

(With PTI inputs)

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