LUCKNOW: Life remained normal across Uttar Pradesh on Thursday despite a 'Bharat Bandh' call by some upper-caste groups against the recent amendment approved by Parliament to overturn a Supreme Court judgment on the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
"It (Bharat Bandh call) has no meaning. People have their feelings. In a democracy everyone has the right to express themselves," Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said when asked by reporters to comment on the 'bandh' call against the SC/ST Act.
Defending the provisions of the Act, Adityanath said his government will ensure that the law is not misused.
"The BJP government is committed towards the welfare of people and development. We never play politics of caste and religion. The law is to protect the downtrodden. The government will ensure that it will not be misused," he told mediapersons in Gonda where he had gone to visit flood-hit areas.
Reports from districts across the state said life was by and large normal despite the bandh call. There was no report of any untoward incident, officials said.
Some upper-caste groups called for a Bharat Bandh against the recent amendment approved by Parliament to overturn a Supreme Court judgment over the Act.
In a bid to check the misuse of the SC/ST Act, the Supreme Court had on March 20 ruled that a preliminary enquiry in a case under the Atrocities Act would be done by a Deputy Superintendent of Police to ensure the allegations were not frivolous and to avoid the false implication of innocent persons.
The apex court had also held that a government official could not be prosecuted on the mere allegation of an offence under the Act without the sanction of the appointing authority.