What Did the Supreme Court Say?
On 20 March, the apex court issued a slew of guidelines that would protect public servants and private individuals from arbitrary and immediate arrest under the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
According to the court’s directive, coercive action against public servants, accused of hostility towards the lower caste, can only be taken with written permission from their appointing authority. For private citizens accused of a similar crime, arrest can be made only after the Senior Superintendent of Police concerned allows it.
(With ANI inputs)
Heightened Security in Punjab; Schools, Colleges Shut
In view of a bandh called by a number of Dalit organisations on 2 April, the Punjab government ordered a security clampdown, while the army and paramilitary forces have been asked to be on standby.
Schools will remain shut and buses would be off the road on Monday, 2 April. CBSE board examination for Class 10 and Class 12 have been postponed to another date following the call for bandh in the state.
All public and private transport will stay off the road during the bandh to prevent any untoward incident.
The chief minister appealed to the protesters to ensure that the mortal remains of the Iraq victims, which are expected to arrive in Amritsar on Monday, are allowed to be transported to their native villages without any impediment.
Protesters Block Trains in Bihar, Odisha and Punjab
Different groups, including CPIML activists, blocked a train in Bihar’s Arrah in protest. Protesters even stopped a train at the Forbesganj Junction railway station in Araria district and in Punjab's Patiala.
UP, Rajasthan Also Witness Protests
Uttar Pradesh’s Agra and Rajasthan’s Bharatpur witnessed protests against the Supreme Court’s 20 March judgement on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
People came out in huge numbers on the streets of Agra to protest. In Bharatpur, women were also seen protesting in huge numbers against the apex court’s judgement.
Protests Turn Violent in Rajasthan's Barmer
Protests turned violent in Rajasthan’s Barmer as demonstrators set cars ablaze and damaged property.
Scuffle Between Police and Protesters in Ranchi
In Jharkhand’s capital, Ranchi, clashes broke out between the protesters and the police. Reports suggest that a few people were injured. However, there were no casualties during the scuffle.
Review Petition on SC Judgement Filed: Ravi Shankar Prasad
Amid nationwide protests by Dalit groups, Union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad, said that the government has filed a review petition challenging the Supreme Court order on Monday.
I wish to convey that we have filed a petition on the judgement by Supreme Court on the SC/ST Protection Act today (Monday). We have filed a comprehensive review petition which will be presented before the court by the senior lawyers of the government.Ravi Shankar Prasad
Rahul Gandhi Slams BJP
Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to slam the ruling BJP, saying that it is “in the DNA of the BJP and the RSS" to consider Dalits as the lowest members of society.
Cops Thrash Protesters in Meerut
Police personnel in Meerut resorted to thrashing protesters as they took to the streets against the Supreme Court’s SC/ST Act ruling.
Shops Vandalised, Train Blocked in Jaipur
Protesters stopped a train in Jaipur on Monday morning. An apparel showroom was also demolished in the city.
One Dead in Morena Amid Violent Protests in MP
At least one person was killed in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena as protests led by Dalits turned violent on Monday afternoon. Curfew was imposed in several towns in the state, including Sagar and Gwalior.
Protest March Takes Place in Ghaziabad
Protesters demonstrated at a railway track in Ghaziabad, near Delhi.
Yogi Calls for Law and Order
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath appealed to protesters to maintain law and order in the state. He also said that the central and the state governments are “dedicated towards the welfare of all backward castes”.
Union Home Minister Appeals for Peace
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed for all groups to maintain peace and not incite violence.
We have filed the review petition in Supreme Court. I appeal to all political parties and groups to maintain peace and not incite violence.Rajnath Singh, Home Minister
Protests Turn Violent in Hapur
Protesters burnt cars and demolished shops as the violence reached Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur.
"Adequately Equipped to Maintain Law and Order," says Delhi Police
As protests reached the national capital, Delhi Police Spokesperson Deependra Pathak said that the force is alert and has adequate deployment at places to maintain law and order.
Delhi Police is alert. We have adequate police deployment at places and senior officials are also present in the field. All steps will be taken to maintain law and order.Deependra Pathak, spokesperson, Delhi Police
Train Services Disrupted in Delhi
Protesters squatted on tracks in several places outside Delhi, stopping trains, including the Dehradun Express and the Ranchi Rajdhani, to enforce an all India shutdown against the dilution of the SC/ST Act, officials said.
Services were disrupted when a mob arrived at the Ghaziabad yard around 10 am Monday, Northern Railway officials told PTI.
Many trains, such as Saptakranti Express, Utkal Express and the Bhubaneswar and Ranchi Rajdhani as well as the Kanpur Shatabdi, were stopped ahead of Ghaziabad in Meerut and Modinagar, officials said.
Traffic Comes to Standstill in Delhi
Traffic snarled across national capital Delhi as hundreds of protesters marched in unity against the dilution of the SC/ST Act.
The protesters gathered at Mandi House, near Connaught Place in central Delhi.
They blocked the road outside the Mandi House Metro Station, bringing traffic to a halt as commuters faced inconvenience while travelling towards ITO and other stretches.
The protesters also blocked one of the carriageways of Barakhamba Road affecting traffic on the stretch, police said.
Shots Fired in Gwalior, 19 Injured
Shots were fired during protests against dilution of the SC/ST Protection Act in Madhya Pradesh's Gwalior, reported ANI.
At least 19 people have been injured in the city, out of which two are in a critical condition. Internet services have also been blocked in Gwalior, Sagar, Bhind, and Morena.
Inspector General, Law and Order of Madhya Pradesh Makrand Deuskar told ANI that a total of four people have died in protests in Gwalior and Morena.
One of the persons killed in Morena has been identified as Rahul Pathak. He was standing outside his house when a bullet fired by one of the protesters hit him. He died on the way to hospital.
Major Loss of Property in UP's Muzaffarnagar
Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh also came under fire as people went on a rampage in the city, burning cars and damaging property as the protests against the SC/ST Act heated up further.
Bus Set Ablaze in Azamgarh
A bus was vandalized and set on fire in UP’s Azamgarh as reports of violence continued to roll in from
Court Decision on SC/ST Act Absolutely Appropriate: SBSP Chief
Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar voiced support for the Supreme Court's ruling on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, arguing that "innocent people" were harassed.
The decision of the Supreme Court is absolutely appropriate, as the SC/ST Act is widely misused similar to the Dowry Prohibition Act. Innocent people are harassed in the garb of this Act. A case should be registered only after probe by a magistrate-level officer.Om Prakash, Chief, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party
The president of the SBSP, an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led UP government, added that the guilty should not be spared, but "innocent person should not be unnecessarily harassed".
Deployment of Security Forces Increased in Rajasthan
In view of the protests, additional 25-30 companies forces were deployed across Rajasthan.
Following reports of violence, the authorities also suspended mobile internet services and imposed Section 144 of the IPC in Barmer, Jalore, Sikar, and Ahore.
Train movement in Alwar and Khairthal was affected, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) NRK Reddy said.
The district administration of Barmer imposed prohibitory orders after four cars were torched there.
Rahul Gandhi Has No Moral Right to Speak About Dalit Issues: Ram Vilas Paswan
Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan hit out at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, saying he had no moral right to attack the BJP over Dalit issues.
Rahul Gandhi has no moral right to speak about the issues of Dalits. He should first answer why his party did this to Ambedkar. The Congress only abused him and encouraged others to abuse him.Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister
At a press conference, the Dalit leader and Lok Janshakti Party chief also dismissed speculation about his future move, saying he was in the BJP-led NDA and would continue to strengthen it. He claimed that it would come back to power again after the Lok Sabha polls next year.
Police Lathi-charge Protesters in Haryana
The police lathi-charged protesters in Haryana's Yamunanagar, ANI reported.
Mayawati Addresses Media on Protests
Bahujan Samaj Party chief and Dalit leader Mayawati said strict action should be taken against those spreading violence during the protests, at the same time adding that her party stood firmly behind the protests against the SC/ST Act.
Mayawati also attacked the Centre, stating that the BJP had misused its power to stoke communal tensions.
Mamata Banerjee Voices Support for Dalit Stir, Urges Peace
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee voiced support for the Dalit stir, tweeting that she was pained for her “Dalit brothers and sisters” who were killed in the violence
Punjab Bandh: Violent Protests Reported from Across State
Rail and road traffic went for a toss at many places in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana as Dalits staged protests over the dilution of the SC/ST Act.
The police had to resort to lathi charge after protests turned violent at some places in Punjab, ANI reported
In view of the Bharat Bandh call given by various Dalit organisations, the Congress-led Punjab government had ordered closure of educational institutions, suspended bus services, and curtailed mobile and Internet connectivity.
Protest marches were taken out in Jalandhar, Patiala, Hoshiarpur, Ropar, Ferozepur, Bathinda, Kapurthala and Phagwara in Punjab, and at Panchkula, Ambala, Kaithal, Hisar, Rohtak, Yamunanagar, Faridabad and Gurugram in Haryana as well as in Chandigarh.
Road Transport, Railways Across Several States Hit by Dalit Stir
Normal life was disrupted in parts of Jharkhand as several Dalit organisations joined the countrywide agitation.
Majority of shops downed their shutters, anticipating violence. In Palasboni area, on the outskirts of Jamshedpur, a truck carrying miscellaneous goods was set ablaze, allegedly by protesters early today, the police said.
As many as 652 protesters were rounded up from various parts of the Steel City, said Sudhir Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Composite Control Room.
In Ahmedabad, the Municipal Corporation cancelled all AMTS & BRTS buses in the wake of protesters vandalising several buses, The Hindu reported.
Protests Reach Parliament's Doorstep
The Quint reported live from New Delhi’s Sansad Marg, where thousands of protesters gathered to oppose the apex court’s order diluting the provisions of the SC/ST Act.
Internet Services Suspended in Parts of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab
Internet services were suspended in Rajasthan’s Barmer, Jalore, Sikar and Ahore, and Section 144 of the IPC was imposed in the areas, following violence, PTI reported.
The Times of India reported that internet services were suspended in Jaisalmer, Jalore, Sirohi, Pali and Jodhpur rural areas. This comes in addition to internet services in Gwalior, Sagar, Bhind, and Morena being suspended along with several other areas in Punjab.
Arvind Kejriwal Voices Support for Dalit Stir
The "fundamental intent" of the SC/ST Act should be preserved, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, extending the Aam Aadmi Party's support to Dalit groups protesting against the alleged dilution of their provisions.
Under the situation resulting due to Supreme Court’s decision on SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, AAP is with the movement of SC/ST community. Central government should deploy top lawyers for the petition in the Supreme Court and the need and fundamental intent of the Act should be preserved.Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Minister, on Twitter.
800 Rapid Action Force Policemen Sent to UP, MP to Rein in Violence
The Centre rushed 800 anti-riot policemen to Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh after violent protests erupted during the nationwide bandh called by Dalit outfits against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel have been sent to Meerut and one company each to Agra and Hapur (all in UP), a home ministry official said to PTI.
A company of RAF comprises around 100 personnel.
Two companies each of the RAF have been sent to Bhopal and Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh to assist the state administration in tackling the situation.
States Must Act to Ensure Safety of People and Property: MHA
The Ministry of Home Affairs said states have been asked to take preventive steps and maintain public order, to ensure the safety of lives and property, PTI reported.
The MHA added that it was “closely monitoring” the situation and remains in touch with states. Meanwhile, protests reached the streets of Delhi. Protesters gathered outside the Parliament’s doorstep, as can be seen below.
1 More Dead in UP, 448 Detained
One person was reported dead from Uttar Pradesh, the DIG Law and Order said to ANI. DIG, Law and Order, Praveen Kumar said that one person in UP had been killed, with three more seriously injured.
Around 35 to 40 policemen and as many as 30 to 35 protesters have been injured in clashes between police and protesters, DIG, Law and Order, Praveen Kumar said to PTI.
Kumar added that at least 448 people were detained in Uttar Pradesh following incidents of violence.
Law Must Be Complied With: RSS
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh issued a statement condemning the protests and violence surrounding the dilution of the SC/ST Act. The outfit also added that people should refrain from indulging in violence, and that the Centre had initiated legal process against the apex court’s order on the provisions of the SC/ST Act.
Over 100 Trains Affected, Routes Restored
Over 100 passenger and mail train services were affected and two trains, including a Shatabdi, were short-terminated as protesters squatted on the tracks in protest.
There were some incidents of gathering of agitators at Firozpur, Hapur, Moradabad, Ghaziabad yard (Gaushala), but there was no damage to railway property. Stray incidents of stone-pelting were reported from one or two places, but no passenger or railway personnel was hurt.Nitin Chowdhury, Spokesperson, Northern Railways
Protesters also blocked rail and road traffic and resorted to violence in Rajasthan, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.
The Railways said, across its zones, the protesters started gathering at the rail yards early in the morning.
One Dead in Rajasthan's Alwar, Death Toll Climbs to Six
One person was killed and 26 others, including nine policemen, were injured in Khairthal in Rajasthan's Alwar district during protests, officials said.
The 28-year-old deceased was identified as Pawan Jatav, the son of a former sarpanch.
The body has been sent for post-mortem, Principal Medical Officer of Alwar district hospital Dr Bhagwan Sahay said.
Eighteen others injured, including one policeman, were undergoing treatment at the hospital, Sahay said.
Agra Schools to Remain Shut on 3 April, Except for Those Conducting Board Examinations
All schools in Agra from class 1 to class 12, except those conducting board examinations, will remain shut on 3 April in light of the protests, ANI reported.
One More Dead in Uttar Pradesh, Death Toll Climbs to Eight
Another person was killed in violent clashes in Uttar Pradesh, ANI reported. The death toll in Madhya Pradesh climbed to five. In total, the death toll now stands at eight people. Five in Madhya Pradesh, two in Uttar Pradesh and one in Rajasthan.
One More Dead in Gwalior, Death Toll at 9
One more person has died in violent clashes during protests in MP's Gwalior, raising the total number of deaths in Madhya Pradesh to six, ANI reported. Overall, nine people were confirmed dead during the Bharat Bandh protests across India on 2 April.
Meerut Mayor's Husband Taken into Custody for Instigating Violence
The husband of the Mayor of Meerut, Sunita Verma, has been taken into custody for instigating violence. The BSP leader is reportedly being questioned in connection with violence in the state following the Bharat Bandh call made by Dalit groups.
Bus Carrying AIIMS Doctors Attacked on Delhi-Ghaziabad Highway
A bus carrying doctors from New Delhi’s All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) was attacked on the Delhi-Ghaziabad Highway (NH 24), ANI reported.
Ghaziabad, Hapur Schools to Remain Shut on 3 April, Board Exams to Go On
All schools and colleges in Hapur and Ghaziabad except those conducting board examinations will remain shut on 3 April 2018 in light of protests, ANI reported.
Former BSP Leader Detained in Connection With Violence
Former BSP leader Yogesh Verma, from Meerut’s Hastinapur, has been detained in connection with the violence, NDTV reported. Meerut police has said that Verma is the "primary conspirator" in the violence, ANI reported.
Prohibitory Orders Imposed in Haridwar, Uttarakhand
Section 144 of the IPC was imposed in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar, late on 2 April 2018, ANI reported. Section 144 prohibits the assembly of more than four people in an area.
Security Deployment Intensified Across Madhya Pradesh
Following the violence which has gripped the state, 16 additional companies of the Seema Suraksha Bal, four companies of the Rapid Action Force, two companies of the Special Task Force and 3,000 additional trainee constables will be deployed across Madhya Pradesh, ANI reported.
Minor Received Bullet Injuries in Haridwar's Roorkee
As the Dalit protest snowballed into a violent event, a minor received bullet injuries near Ganeshpur in Haridwar's Roorkee on 2 April, reported ANI.
Death Toll Rises to 7 in Madhya Pradesh
The death toll in connection with Bharat Bandh rose to seven in Madhya Pradesh, reported ANI.
Internet Services Suspended in Meerut
Internet services have been suspended in Meerut till 2 pm on Tuesday, 3 April, as a precautionary measure, in the light of Bharat Bandh, reported ANI.
SC Agrees For Open Court Hearing
The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 3 April, agreed for an open court hearing on the Centre's review petition over its judgement on SC/ST Protection Act, reported ANI.
Attorney General KK Venugopal sought an urgent hearing of the review petition in the SC/ST matter at 2 pm on Tuesday.
The SC bench asked Venugopal to seek from CJI Dipak Misra the constitution of the same bench which passed the earlier verdict. According to PTI, the CJI has agreed to set up the same bench.
"We Did Not Dilute SC/ST Act": Rajnath Singh
"Our govt has done nothing to dilute SC/ST Act", said Home Minister Rajnath Singh amidst sloganeering by Opposition.
SC Refuses to Stay Order on SC/ST Act
The Supreme Court refused to stay its order on the SC/ST Act for now and asked all parties to submit detailed responses within two days. The matter will come up for hearing again after 10 days.
The apex court also said that it was not against the Act, and was in fact “concerned about protecting the interests of the affected people”, reported Bar and Bench. The bench reportedly added that through its 20 March order, it had not diluted the Act, but only adjusted ‘police power’ to suit the existing law.
However, the court opined that the provisions of the Act cannot be used to terrorise the innocents.
While hearing the case, the bench clarified that compensation can be given immediately to SC/ST member at the stage of filing a complaint without registering an FIR. Also, a case can be registered under non POA offences such as IPC.
FIR Against Protester in Gwalior
An FIR has been filed against a certain Raja Singh Chauhan at the Thatipur Police station in Gwalior. Chouhan was the man seen firing at the protesters on Monday in a viral video.
Addressing a press conference, IG Law and Order Makrand Desukar said that an FIR had been filed against Chouhan under section 308 of the IPC.
Houses of Dalit MLA, Ex-MLA Set Afire in Rajasthan's Karauli
The houses of a sitting and a former MLA, both Dalits, were set afire by a violent mob on Tuesday afternoon in the Hindaun town in Karauli district of Rajasthan following which curfew was imposed in the area, a senior official said.
A mob comprising nearly 5,000 people set ablaze houses of sitting MLA Rajkumari Jatav and Congress MLA Bharosilal Jatav in the Hindaun City, District Collector, Karauli, Abhimanyu Kumar told PTI.
While Rajkumari Jatav is from the ruling BJP, Bharosilal Jatav is a former Congress legislator who also served as a minister in the state. The incident occurred a day after Rajasthan and several other states saw large scale protests and violence during a 'bandh' called by Dalit organisations.
Death Toll Rises to 11, Counter-Protests in Rajasthan
The death toll in the violence caused by the nationwide stir by Dalit groups rose to 11, as two more people succumbed to their injuries in Madhya Pradesh.
Normal life was thrown out of gear in more than 10 states, most of them 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.
Counter-protests were reported on Tuesday from Rajasthan, where traders' groups and members of other castes hit the streets over the damage caused on Monday.
Rajasthan Sub Inspector Dies, Death Toll at 12
Sub Inspector Mahendra Chaudhary who was injured in the Bharat Bandh protests on Monday succumbed to his injuries, taking the death toll to 12 people.
Meerut Schools to Remain Shut on 4 April
All schools, except those conducting board examinations, to remain closed on Wednesday, 4 April, following protests over the SC/ST protection act on 2 April, reported ANI.
Dejected and Rejected Parties Made People Suffer: Amit Shah
A day after violent Bharat Bandh protests, BJP President Amit Shah said a "microscopic minority of dejected and rejected political parties" made the people suffer and apologised to "Dalit sisters and brothers."
In a series of tweets, Shah reached out to the community, which has been protesting a Supreme Court order on a law on atrocities against it, and sought to turn the tables on the Congress by raking up its treatment to Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar.
He also blamed "vested interest groups" for spreading the panic on the issue of reservation for Dalits, saying it is done before every election and asserted that the government will do everything to protect their rights.
Right from the day the apex court gave its judgment on the SC/ST atrocities act, the central government acted in an "immediate and informed" manner and has filed an effective review petition to protect the Dalits' rights, Shah said.
Shah said, "We will continue our efforts to make our Dalit sisters and brothers the makers of New India. We will fulfill their aspirations and dreams. Jai Bhim! Jai Hind!"
5,000 Booked, 32 Arrested for Rioting in Ghaziabad
As many as 5,000 people have been booked for creating ruckus and damaging public and government properties in Ghaziabad during protests against dilution of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the SSP said.
Senior Superintendent of Police Vaibhav Krishna said police have lodged reports against 5,000 unidentified and 285 named miscreants under various sections the IPC.
Till now 32 agitators have been arrested and raids are being conducted to arrest others.
Furthermore, police have identified 43 places in urban and 17 places in rural areas of the district as highly sensitive where agitators may disturb peace again. Heavy police forces have been deployed on these points, the SSP said.
Nine policemen who were injured during the agitations are still undergoing treatment, Krishna said.
Muzzaffarnagar: Police Accused of Killing a Man During Protests
Family of a man, who was shot dead on 2 April during the Bharat Bandh protests, has accused the police of killing him. The locals held a protest by keeping his body on the road in Bhopa & demanded compensation.
However, Sharad Sachan, DIG Saharanpur, said in a statement to ANI, “Postmortem report of the man revealed that he was shot by a bullet of 32 Bore or a small weapon. This bullet wasn't fired by police.”
Curfew Imposed in Parts of Madhya Pradesh
Curfew to remain imposed on Wednesday, 4 April, in various areas of Gwalior, Bhind and Morena, to be relaxed only between 10 am and 12 noon, ANI reported.
So far, 50 people have been arrested in Morena for pelting stones.
Internet services in Bhind and Morena remain suspended. Meanwhile, in Gwalior, police said the situation is returning to normal.
Bharat Bandh Cost Railways Rs 1.98 Crore in Ferozpur: Report
The Dalit agitation during Monday’s Bharat Bandh cost Ferozepur division of the railways in Punjab Rs 1.98 crore in refunds to passengers, The Indian Express said.
Other details on losses are being worked on and is likely to run in crores, sources told the daily.
The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, refused to stay its order on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, as it reiterated that "innocents cannot be terrorised" by its provisions. It agreed to hear the review petition in detail in 10 days.
At least 12 people were killed across Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan as protests over the dilution of Act turned violent during the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called on 3 April.
- Former BSP leader, Yogesh Verma, from Meerut’s Hastinapur detained by UP Police as “prime conspirator” in the violence
- Curfew imposed in part of MP and schools are shut in UP’s Meerut on Wednesday
- Houses of Dalit MLA, ex-MLA set ablaze in Rajasthan’s Karauli
- SC said that its verdict can only be reviewed if there is a “patent error” in law