Several Dalit groups have called for a Bharat Bandh on April 2, Monday. The bandh has reportedly been called by the groups against dilution of Scheduled Castes-Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act provisions and alleged arbitrary arrests made under the same.
The bandh call was initially given by Dalit group Sanvidhaan Bachao Sangharash Committee at a press conference on Wednesday. The call was later supported by All India Adi Dharam Mission and All India Adi Dharam Sadhu Samaj, reported The Times of India.
The government has, however, made an appeal to the bodies to call off the Bharat Bandh. Taking to Twitter, Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot had said that the Narendra Modi government was committed to the welfare of members of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe.
He had also said that the government would file a review petition on the decision of the Supreme Court with regard to the Act. The minister was also quoted as saying by some reports that he would take up the matter with the Ministry of Finance.
The Supreme Court had ruled that before filing any case of atrocities on members of SC and ST community, a probe by DSP-level officer would be mandatory. A prior permission would also be needed from senior officials before arresting any government official in such cases. The court had observed that many fake cases were filed under the Act. The decision was taken by the Supreme Court while hearing a petition filed by the Maharashtra government.
Reports also said that several NDA MPs from the Dalit community met Prime Minister Narendra Modi following the decision to take some action. The opposition had also targeted the central government over the issue.