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Dalit protests: Violence erupts in several States

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 13, 2018 Published on April 02, 2018

Up in arms Members of the Dalit community and Bhim Sena stage a protest against the alleged dilution of the SC and the ST Act by the Supreme court, in Jodhpur on Monday   -  PTI

Seven reported killed; anti-riot police rushed to UP, MP, Rajasthan and Punjab

Seven people were reportedly killed and hundreds detained on Monday as protests called by Dalit groups against the recent Supreme Court verdict perceived as having diluted the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act swept across several States.

The Centre was pushed to rush anti-riot police personnel to Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab, where schools were shut down and internet services disrupted during the day-long protests.

The Supreme Court had on March 20 diluted certain provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in a bid to protect public servants discharging their “bona fide” duties from being blackmailed with false cases under the Act. The ruling has been widely criticised by Dalit groups and Opposition parties, which claim it will lead to more discrimination and crimes against the community. Dalit organisations had called for a countrywide protest on Monday.

The most violent clashes were witnessed in Madhya Pradesh, leaving four persons dead and several people, including a sub-divisional magistrate and policemen, injured, officials said. In the wake of the large-scale violence, curfew was imposed in the districts of Gwalior, Morena and Bhind, they added. In Alwar, Rajasthan and Muzaffarnagar, UP, one death each was reported in the clashes between agitators and the police.

Arson and loot

Incidents of stone-pelting, arson and loot were reported from several parts of Madhya Pradesh, said Inspector General of Police (law and order) Makrand Deoskar. Two persons were killed in Gwalior, while one each died in Bhind and Morena districts in the violence, he said. The four persons were killed in cross-firing between those supporting the bandh and those opposing it, the IG added.

In Alwar, there were incidents of stone-pelting and police firing. A person was killed in Alwar and more clashes and arson were reported from the State capital Jaipur and Barmer. In Jharkhand capital Ranchi, the police beat up protesters who took to pelting stones.

In UP too, protests were organised in almost every region including Lucknow. The police lathi-charged and used water cannons wherever the protests turned violent.

Published on April 02, 2018
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