NEW DELHI: With country-wide Bharat Bandh protests by Dalit groups turning bloody on Monday morning with the death of two people, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) entered a mud-slinging contest on social media. Sparring on Twitter, the parties blamed each other for atrocities against Dalits.
As reports of chaotic protests from across the country unfurled on television and social media, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi took to the micro-blogging platform to share, “Positioning Dalits at the lowest rung of Indian society RSS/BJP's DNA. Whoever dares to challenge this status quo is suppressed with violence.
"Thousands of Dalit brothers and sisters have come out on the streets to demanding protection of their rights from the (Narendra) Modi Sarkar. We salute them.”
दलितों को भारतीय समाज के सबसे निचले पायदान पर रखना RSS/BJP के DNA में है। जो इस सोच को चुनौती देता है उसे वे हिंसा से दबाते हैं।
हजारों दलित भाई-बहन आज सड़कों पर उतरकर मोदी सरकार से अपने अधिकारों की रक्षा की माँग कर रहे हैं।
हम उनको सलाम करते हैं।#BharatBandh
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 2, 2018
Immediately after, BJP's twitter handle responded with a graph highlighting the atrocities against Dalits during Congress-led UPA government regime.
दलितों के नाम पर राजनीतिक रोटियां सेंकने वाली कांग्रेस के नेतृत्व की यूपीए सरकार में दलितों पर हुए अत्याचारों की वास्तविकता। pic.twitter.com/W4tIS4m6C1
— BJP (@BJP4India) April 2, 2018
Angry over the Supreme Court's ruling on March 20 that diluted of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and making it less stringent, angry Dalit bodies held protests and demonstrations across the country.
Three people died in Madhya Pradesh – one in Morena, two in Gwalior – during clashes between law enforcement agencies and demonstrators in the ongoing Bharat Bandh.
The protests turned violent in many parts of the country including the states of Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bihar, Punjab, apart from Madhya Pradesh. Stringent protests were carried out in other states as well.
Protester blocked rail lines disrupting train services in several states. Reports of vandalism emerged from more than 10 places during the protests.