Bharat Bandh: Modi govt committed to uphold SC/ST Act says Rajnath Singh

On the violence that has gripped several states on Monday, the court said that the people protesting may not have read its order or may have been misled.

Making a suo motu statement in Lok Sabha during the Zero Hour on the large scale violence during yesterday's Bharat Bandh, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said there has been widespread anger amongst the people following the March 20 order of the Supreme Court and the people have taken to the streets.

According to the SC order, if the accused is a public servant his arrest would require the sanction of a higher official; if a non-government official, the sanction of the district police superintendent is necessary.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Centre told the Supreme Court said that an emergency-like situation has unfurled in the country with thousands of people out on the road.

Protesters carried banners demanding a nationwide shutdown, saying the judgment was diluting the law.

Normal life was thrown out of gear in more than 10 States, majority BJP-ruled, with widespread violence during the protests called by Dalit organisations on Monday with poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan bearing the maximum brunt.

"The judgement is not in conflict with the SC/ST Act".

Describing the directions issued by the court by its judgement as being "legislative in nature", the government contended that the Act was a "complete code in itself" and deserves "strict interpretation in order to give effect to its state objectives of protecting SC and ST from caste based subjugation and discrimination".

Speaking to TNM, K Mallikarjun, PDSU leader, said, "This decision will subvert the goal of the Act".

When police tried to free the tracks, the demonstrators started pelting stones at them and set fire to several private and public vehicles. Some sat on railway lines to block trains. In Uttar Pradesh, almost 450 people were held.

Authorities in Punjab shut schools and colleges and postponed exams in some affected regions. She was responding to Home Minister Singh's speech. The leader of the main opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, in a twitter post said that it was in the DNA of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), to keep Dalits at the lowest rung of the society.

The opposition called the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi anti-Dalit.

He said that at every juncture and in all possible ways, the BJP would stand shoulder to shoulder with the community. "We will fulfil their aspirations and dreams", he said. The present verdict will not help the victims, " said Vidwan.

  • Salvatore Jensen