Bharat Bandh: Rajnath advices states to maintain law and order, assures Centre's assistance

After violent protests erupted during a nationwide bandh called by Dalit outfits against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said his ministry was closely monitoring the situation and was in constant touch with the affected state.

The minister also advised the states to maintain law and order and assured to provide assistance to ensure the same.

Taking to his Twitter handle, the Home Minister said that the Centre is committed to work for the welfare of the people of the SC/ST community and guaranteed complete protection of their law.

"The Government of India has advised all states to maintain law and order and we are ready to provide assistance to any state that may require so," Rajnath Tweeted.

"The Govt. of India is committed to ensuring welfare of SC/STs and other weaker sections and also guaranteeing them full protection of law. The Govt. has already filed a review petition in the Supreme Court to maintain the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act in its presents form," he added.

He further appealed the political parties to assist in maintaining harmony and asked people to not to fall prey to any kind of rumours.

"I appeal to all political parties to help in maintaining harmony among different sections of the society. I also appeal to the people, not to fall prey to rumours and false propaganda unleashed by mischievous elements," Rajnath Tweeted.

Till now Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab have so far requested for Central Forces from the Centre.

The Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) have also been made available to them.

The Home Ministry have also asked the states to take all preventive measures and maintain public order and ensure the safety of lives of people and property.

Meanwhile, 763 people were detained in Ranchi and 850 in east Singhbhum district of Jharkhand during bandh protests.

One person was killed and 448 people were detained in Uttar Pradesh during the nationwide bandh.

While, five people died in Madhya Pradesh and one in Rajasthan during the agitation.

Even as the Centre has filed a review petition in the top court, outrage over the review in the Act made by the Supreme Court has engulfed many parts of the country, as various states, including Punjab, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, are witnessing border-line riots with protesters taking to destruction of private and public property to send their message of disapproval to legislature and judiciary.

Various Dalit organisations had called for a nationwide shutdown or a 'Bharat Bandh' to protest against the ruling.

The apex court had, on March 20, introduced the provision of anticipatory bail in the act while directing that there would be no automatic arrest on any complaint filed under the law.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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