6 Killed As Bharat Bandh Protests Turn Violent, Despite Centre Filing Review On SC/ST Act To SC

| April 2 , 2018 , 15:15 IST

At least 6 people have been killed in the 'Bharat Bandh' protests launched by the Dalit community across India on Monday against the Supreme Court directive diluting the SC/ST protection act. The protests took place even after the Centre confirmed filing a review petition with the Supreme Court over its directive on the SC/ST Act.

According to reports, 4 people were killed in Madhya Pradesh, one person in Bihar and one person in Rajasthan. Clashes and violence were witnessed in areas of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Odisha, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Bihar as members of the Dalit community gathered on roads and blocked railways carrying blue flags with BR Ambedkar's portrait.

Shops were forcibly shut down by protesters in Dehradun and the Delhi-Dehradun highway was completely blocked by agitators, leaving thousands stranded on roads. Hundreds of protesters carrying swords, sticks and baseball bats forced close shops and establishments in Punjab's Jalandhar, Amritsar and Bathinda.

Curfew has also been imposed in parts of Gwalior & Section 144 (prohibits assembly of more than 4 people in the area) imposed in Sagar, with internet services being shut down as well till 6 AM tomorrow. More than 19 people were injured in Gwalior, and 2 are said to be in critical condition.

Protestors also reportedly attacked police officials trying to clear a traffic jam in Uttar Pradesh's Ferozabad and set ablaze vehicles in Muzaffarnagar.

Amidst the violence, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to political parties and groups to maintain peace.

"We have filed the review petition in Supreme Court. I appeal to all political parties & groups to maintain peace and not incite violence," Singh said.