Bharat Bandh: Home Ministry Monitoring Situation, 7 Dead

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New Delhi: Violent protests erupted today during a nationwide bandh called by several Dalit organisations against the alleged “dilution” of the SCs/STs Act.

At least seven people died and scores others were injured after the Bharat Bandh protests called by Dalit organisations against the Supreme Court’s ruling on SC/ST Atrocities Act turned violent in several parts of the country.

The protesters rampaged through the towns across the country, arsoning, damaging public property, setting police vehicles on fire and pelting stones on security forces. Five people died in Madhya Pradesh while one each killed in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, accpording to reports.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said it was closely monitoring the situation and was in constant touch with the affected states after violent protests erupted during a nationwide bandh called by Dalit outfits against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, which left at least four people dead in Madhya Pradesh and many injured

Normal life was affected in Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha due to disruptions in rail and road traffic, forced closure of offices and vandalism of properties during the “Bharat Bandh”.

The nationwide bandh was called after the Supreme Court on March 20 laid new guidelines that protect public servants from immediate arrest after a complaint is filed against them under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Dalits were demanding the rollback of the top court’s order demanding the Centre to file a review petition. The Centre, however, filed the review petition on Monday even as the protests continued.

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