Bharat Bandh: Violent protests in Agra, train services halted in Punjab, Bihar, Odisha

Train services at several places across the country were affected after protesters blocked railway lines and stopped trains on Monday morning in the ongoing Bharat Bandh. Daily activities were also disrupted in few states after marketplaces and shops remained shut. 

Bharat Bandh: Violent protests in Agra, train services halted in Punjab, Bihar, Odisha
Scenes of protest across the country on Bharat Bandh.
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New Delhi: Protestors demanding that the roll back of modification to the SC/ST Act suggested by the Supreme Court, clashed with security personnel in Agra on Monday morning. Several shops were vandalised as several protestors began screaming slogans.

Several Dalit groups have called for a nation-wide Bharat Bandh against the proposed modification to the SC/ST Act. In Agra, the protest turned violent when local cops reportedly tried to contain a large group. Unruly scenes of vandalism and sloganeering followed. Massive protests have also been reported from several other parts of the country, including Punjab's Ludhiana and Zirakpur.

Train services at several places across the country were affected as well after protesters blocked railway lines and stopped trains on Monday morning in the ongoing Bharat Bandh. Daily activities were also disrupted in few states after marketplaces and shops remained shut. 

All you need to know about the controversy surrounding SC/ST Act

The first reports of protestors stopping train came from Odisha Sambalpur. 

In Bihar's Arrah, different groups including Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation or CPI(ML) activists also stopped a train.

Later they blocked the train at Forbesganj Junction.

IANS reported that protestors belonging to Bhim Army in Bihar carried posters, flags and banners and blocked national and state highways - apart from long-distance trains. "In several localities in Patna, supporters of the Bhim Army forced shops to close and blocked roads by burning tyres," a district police official said.

 

In Punjab too, trains were stopped at few places.

The Bharat Bandh strike was called against the Supreme Court's order to dilute the stringent provisions mandating immediate arrest under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act. The bandh is reportedly being supported by several groups such as the Peasants and Workers Party, the Prakash Ambedkar-led Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, the Jati Aant Sangharsh Samiti, the Rashtriya Seva Dal, and National Dalit Movement for Justice, among others.

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