The Bharat Bandh call given by 35 organisation, mostly in the nortehrn stations, protesting agaisnt the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018, has truend tense today. Various state governments have taken precautions by declaring red-alert and also mobilising heavy forces.
Security has been tightened up across Madhya Pradesh, with Section 144 imposed in six districts to prevent any untoward incident during the proposed stir. The Bill was brought by the Modi government in Parlament session to overturn a Supreme Court order, last month following widespread protests by Dalit groups.
Upper caste and OBS groups are angry that why the government overturned the Supreme Court judgement. The anger is boiling because of the two reasons — the belief that reservation for SC/STs hurts their job and educational prospects and the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is being misused.
Bandh supporters attacked Jan Adhikar Party MP Pappu Yadav’s convoy in Muzaffarpur of Bihar. He was going to Madhubani to start padyatra for the safety of women and girls in Bihar. Jehanabad ASP was injured when bandh supporters pelted stones at his convoy. He is being treated at the Jehanabad Sadar hospital.
BJP MP and National Chairman of the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations, Udit Raj, has also called the protests ineffective and a conspiracy. “There is no great effect of the stir. Even 10 people can block the road and stop the trains. I suspect a conspiracy behind this because elections are approaching. Those behind this have an animosity with the BJP. ”
However, Madhya Pradesh Congress general secretary Deepak Babaria has called the protests a BJP ploy. ” It is a BJP plot. Whenever there is an election they try to inject some emotional issue. This is also a BJP sponsored protest. They were trying to divide society on the lines of Hindu – Muslims now this. This is just to divide the society on the lines of SC/ST and other castes. They owe an explanation to the country. What about job issues and the farmer crisis? what about corruption issue? They are creating this gimmick to divert attention.”