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MP CM Chouhan Announces Dilution Of SC/ST Act, No Arrests Before Investigation

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| September 21 , 2018 , 09:11 IST

In a move to placate protesting upper caste groups ahead of the state assembly elections, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday announced a dilution of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act so that it is "not misused". CM Chouhan said that no one would be arrested before an investigation in charges under the SC/ST Act.

As upper cast protesters gave a call to gherao the CM's residence on Thursday demanding dilution of the SC/ST Act strengthened by Parliament, CM Chouhan took to Twitter to make his announcement, “MP mein nahi hoga SC-ST Act ka durupyog, bina jaanch ke nahi hogi giraftari (MP will not allow misuse of the SC/ST Act, no one will be arrested without an investigation).”

On September 6, 'Bharat Bandh' protests took place in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra against the amendments to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act passed in Parliament last month strengthening the Act.

ALSO READ: 'Bharat Bandh' Protests In MP, Bihar, Maharashtra Against Stronger SC/ST Act

According to Brahma Samagam Sawarna Jankalyan Sangathan's national president Dharmendra Sharma, around 150 organisations of upper castes and OBCs participated in the Bharat bandh against the SC/ST Act amendments.

The Supreme Court in March this year had issued a guideline of investigation before arrests under the SC/ST Act, after which massive protests by SC/ST groups resulted in the Centre nullifying the dilution issued by the Supreme Court. The original ruling of the apex court had allowed provisions of anticipatory bail, preliminary enquiry before registration of case under the act and prior sanction by superior officer before carrying out an arrest.

In the wake of massive protests by the SC/ST groups in August, the amendment strengthening the Act was passed by the Parliament within days.

“Narendra Modi government cares about the development of our Dalit and Adivasi brothers and will strive in that direction. We have done that before and will do so going ahead,” Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said after the protests.

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