Over a dozen of people, according to the police, were injured on Tuesday in violent clashes in Bihar during the “Bharat Bandh” called by various groups, mostly caste Hindus, to protest against reservation policies, that the ‘lower caste’ Dalits have been rallying for.
The ‘Bharat Bandh’ on April 2 by Dalit groups against the alleged dilution of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by a Supreme Court order had led to violence and arson in many parts of India, which claimed several lives and left hundreds of civilians and policemen injured.
Supporters, mostly upper castes youth, blocked roads and forcibly enforced the ‘nationwide shutdown’ in Ara town, Bhojpur district.
“More than a dozen people were injured in the violent clash between supporters of the Bharat Bandh and a pro-reservation group comprising OBCs and Dalits,” a district police official said.
Additional security have been deployed in Ara.
According to reports reaching here, hundreds of people opposing reservation to SC/ST and OBCs and supporting Bharat Bandh, have blocked roads at several places, halted trains and forcibly closed markets in Patna, Begusarai, Lakhisarai, Muzafffarpur, Bhojpur, Sheikhpura and Darbhanga districts.
Meanwhile, schools will remain shut in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad district. Internet has been suspended in Saharnpur since midnight. In Jaipur, internet has been shut down and the authorities have said that no processions will be allowed.
In wake of the Bharat Bandh, Section 144 has been imposed in Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh. Around 6000 police personnel will be deployed in order to ward off any violence or untoward incidents. Although the section has been imposed in several other districts of Madhya Pradesh, but Gwalior, Bhind and Morena are deemed to be the sensitive areas.
This comes a day after the Union Home Ministry issued an advisory to all states to take precautionary measures in view of calls on social media for the “Bharat Bandh” by various anti-reservation groups to protest clashes during the April 2 SC/ST shutdown.