Thousands hit streets to protest SC/ST Act changes
Even the rural hinterland and smaller towns of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh joined the protest called by the upper caste communities
Many places in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh on Thursday were affected by the Bharat Bandh called to protest against the changes made in the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Not just rail and road traffic, markets and schools were closed. Even rural hinterland and smaller towns joined the protest called by upper caste communities, including the Akhil Bhartiya Vaishya Samaj and dozens of other groups.
General category and OBC groups take part in a protest in Allahabad. Pics/PTI/AFP
The agitators blocked trains and put up roadblocks. Schools declared a holiday. In Mathura and Vrindavan, the bandh was total as protesters took out marches and blocked roads. In Firozabad, even Muslim shopkeepers joined the shutdown. A protestor said, "Our anger is directed towards the recent changes in the Act, which empowers the police to arrest anyone without probe. We are not opposed to persons belonging to the SC/ST community."
Ex-MLA quits BJP
Former MLA Laxman Tiwari announced his resignation from the MP BJP in protest against restoration of provisions of SC/ST Act. Earlier, SC had removed the provision of mandatory arrests. As the decision triggered nationwide protests, the Centre brought an amendment to the Act to overrule the SC order.
Bandh gets good response in Raj
The call for Bharat Bandh evoked a good response in Rajasthan where many shops and business establishments, schools and other institutes remained closed.
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