LUCKNOW: Protesters torched two buses and pelted stones on vehicles in several parts of Uttar Pradesh during the "Bharat Bandh' called by Dalit groups today against the Supreme Court order on the SC/ST Act.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath appealed to the people not to vitiate law and order and asserted that his government "is serious towards the development and progress of dalits".
Protests turned violent in several districts including Agra, Hapur, Meerut in West UP and Azamgarh .
In Azamgarh, angry protesters pelted stones on buses on Gorakhpur-Azamgarh highway in Sagdi area damaging their window panes, police said.
They also set afire two roadways buses injuring some passengers.
Director General of Police (DGP), OP Singh, said the situation is under control in Agra, Sambhal and Hapur and that RPF personnel have been deployed there.
"We have sought more force from the centre that will be deployed there. We are keeping an eye on the situation, which is under control," he said.
Urging people not to resort to violence, Chief Minister Aditynath said, "Both the Centre and the state government are dedicated to the welfare of the backward castes, the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes.
If there is any issue, one can bring them to the notice of the government.
"The Supreme Court on March 20 had banned automatic arrests and registration of criminal cases under the Scheduled Castes (SC) and the Scheduled Tribes (ST) (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, a legislation meant to protect the marginalised communities from abuse and discrimination.
Ruling that no arrest can be made under the Act without prior permission, the apex court had also held that a court can grant anticipatory bail if it, prima facie, finds the complaint is an abuse of the law, false, motivated and intended to blackmail or harass a person.
This was necessary, the court had said, to prevent the rampant misuse of the tough provisions of the law.
"The Bharat Bandh, called by various Dalit groups, demands restoration of the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in its original form."