Another Bharat Bandh on April 10? Madhya Pradesh police geared up to tackle the situation

Madhya Pradesh's DGP has appealed for peace.

Another Bharat Bandh on April 10? Madhya Pradesh police geared up to tackle the situation
Madhya Pradesh was among the states that had been affected by the Bharat Bandh called by various Dalit organisations. (File picture)

In the last few days, there have been several posts on social media and WhatsApp groups about another Bharat Bandh on April 10. The call for Bharat Bandh has been reportedly given by some groups and organisations opposing caste-based reservations in jobs and education. On April 2, several Dalit groups had enforced a Bharat Bandh in many states to protest against the Supreme Court ruling on the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) Rishi Kumar Shukla his force was fully geared up to tackle the Bharat Bandh on April 10. "We are appealing to citizens to maintain peace and harmony in the state. But we are equally prepared to deal with any untoward situation. There may be differences among members of different communities, but they should not resort to violence. Peace and harmony is necessary for the state to prosper," PTI quoted him as saying in Bhopal on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), facing allegations by its rivals of being anti-Dalit, hit back at the opposition parties on Sunday. BJP leaders and Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Thawarchand Gehlot counterattacked and blamed Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the violence during the Bharat Bandh on April 2. 

BJP leaders claimed that prominent Dalit leaders like Bhimrao Ambedkar and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) founder Kanshi Ram believed in democratic process and their protests were always peaceful. Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged that Congress, BSP and Samajwadi Party were behind the violence demonstrations during the April 2 Bharat Bandh. He also accused the opposition of polarising the country on caste lines. "The opposition should not work to divide the country for political interests," he said.

Both the minister argued that contrary to the opposition's allegations, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had left no stone unturned to strengthen the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Another BJP MP Udit Raj, who represents North West Delhi in the Lok Sabha, however claimed that Dalits were being tortured after the Arpril 2 Bharat Bandh. But he was quick to add that his party was pro-Dalit.



While Udit Raj had tweeted on April 7 that Dalits were being tortured at several places for taking part in the April 2 strike, he clarified on Sunday that his party will convince the community to stay with BJP.



Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana and Gujarat were the worst affected states during the April 2 Bharat Bandh. At least 10 people were killed in clashes between Dalit groups and police with Madhya Pradesh being the worst affected. Eight people died several others were injured in Madhya Pradesh while one person each was killed in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.