New Delhi/ Bhopal/ Lucknow/ Jaipur: Seven people were killed on Monday as violent protests erupted across nine states during a nation-wide bandh called by several Dalit organisations against a Supreme Court ruling which has allegedly “diluted” the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The bandh and the ensuing violence hit life across the country with some states ordering closure of educational institutions and curtailing communication and transport services, including rail.
Over 100 trains were affected due to the protests. Ministry of home affairs is closely monitoring the situation and is in constant touch with the states. Whichever state has asked for Central forces, they have been made available immediately, officials said.
The ministry has asked all states to take preventive steps and maintain public order to ensure safety of lives and property.
On March 20, the Supreme Court had observed that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act of 1989 is being used to “blackmail” innocent citizens and handed down guidelines to protect both public servants and private employees.
The court directed that public servants can only be arrested with the written permission of their appointing authority....