‘Bharat Bandh’ updates: Row over SC/ST Act disrupts normal life in Bihar, Odisha

New Delhi : Various Dalit organisations have called for a nationwide shutdown to protest against the Supreme Court’s ruling on amendments under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is all set to file a petition seeking review of the apex court’s order diluting the provisions of the act that protects marginalised communities against discrimination and atrocities.

The apex court on March 20 had introduced the provision of anticipatory bail in the act while directing that there would be no automatic arrest on any complaint filed under the law.

In Punjab, the transport and mobile Internet services have been suspended. The educational institutions also remain closed.

09:35 am: The protest spreads out to Agra and Rajasthan. Agitators are seen taking to the streets over the issue.

09:32 am: Protestors stop a train at Forbesganj Junction in Bihar in the wake of protests over the SC/ST act. The band has been called by Dalit organisations across the country.

08:55 am: The effects of Bandh are visible in Bihar where protestors blocked a train and roads in Sonapur area.

08:45 am: The Congress Party on Monday reiterated that the Centre did not present the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Protection Act properly before the Supreme Court.

Party leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi told ANI, “Of course, a review petition (SC/ST protection act) should be filed and it’s the right of the Government, it is a legal procedure. The basic question is that why they were unable to present the case properly before SC and lost; inquiry is needed.”

08:35 am: Police force has been deployed in Punjab’s Amritsar to avoid unwelcome situation due to the protests called by various Dalit organisations across the country. (ANI)