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Bharat Bandh: SC/ST Groups Demand Repeal of Act Dilution in Delhi

RSS influenced the SC/ST Act dilution order, said one of the protesters at the Delhi edition of the Bharat Bandh.

Published
India
2 min read

Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim

Protests by Dalit groups against the Supreme Court order on the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, brought the national capital to a standstill on 2 April, as thousands marched into the heart of Delhi, as part of the nationwide bandh called to protest the apex court’s verdict.

Protesters in Delhi marched from Connaught Place to Sansad Marg, where they were stopped by security forces. Several areas reported traffic snarls as protesters took to the streets to allege a “conspiracy against the Dalit community” by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.

Protesters told The Quint that the Supreme Court order dilutes a law meant to protect their community. The apex court’s decision is influenced by the RSS, a protester alleged.

Look at the literacy rate among lower castes, they don’t even know an SC/ST Act exists. How can they (the courts) say it’s being misused?
Amit Kumar, a Dalit activist from JNU

The Supreme Court had, on 20 March, changed certain provisions of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act related to arrest and registration of case, in a bid to protect 'honest' public servants discharging bona fide duties from being blackmailed with false cases under the Act.

The verdict has drawn criticism from several quarters, with both Dalit groups and Opposition parties alleging that the move will open the doors for greater discrimination and crime against the backward community.

PM Modi says he is a follower of Ambedkar, but on the directions of upper caste male dominated RSS he is trying to dissolve SC/ST act.
Ameeque Jaime, CPI activist
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The Centre, on 2 April, filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against the "dilution" of the SC/ST Act, seeking the restoration of the earlier status by which any offence under the SC/ST Act was made a cognizable non-bailable. However the SC refused to hear the matter on priority, with CJI Dipak Mishra reportedly stating that there was no urgency on the matter.

At least nine people were killed in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar during the ‘Bharat Bandh’.

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