3 killed in MP as Dalit protesters turn violent

Bhopal: Violence erupted in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior and Chambal districts on Monday during protests by Dalits over a Supreme Court order, leaving three persons dead and many injured, official sources said.

Curfew was imposed in many parts of the state even as Internet services were withdrawn.

Chambal Inspector General of Police Santosh Singh told IANS: One person each was killed in Morena and Bhind, though the cause of their deaths are not known so far.”

One person was killed in Gwalior during a clash between two groups.

The IGP said that curfew has been imposed in five localities of Bhind and Morena and authorities are keeping an eye on the situation.

Gwalior Collector Rahul Jain said that at least 22 persons have been injured in violence, though doctors treating them have not confirmed any deaths due to violence.

Police said that following violence in Gwalior, areas falling under the police stations of Thatipur, Gola ka Mandir and Murar were put under curfew and Internet services stopped.

The state’s major cities like Bhopal and Indore witnessed violence, with trains stopped at many places. Policemen were among those injured at various places.

In state capital Bhopal, a large number of protesters rallied at the Board Office crossroad, following which police lathi-charged to disperse the mob but failed.

Protesters also stopped trains at several places in the state, officials said.

Earlier, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan appealed for calm following the violence.

“The Union government has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court. Our government is committed to protect the rights of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. People should maintain peace,” Chouhan said.

The protests are part of a ‘Bharat bandh’ called by Dalit organisations against a Supreme Court March 20 order that diluted The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.