BALAGHAT: Alarmed over growing unrest among general category and other backward castes (OBC) population against the recently amended SC/ST Atrocities Act, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan promised on Thursday that misuse of the amended law won't be allowed and arrests will not be made without proper investigation in the state.
"It will be ensured that injustice is not done to anyone," maintained Chouhan. Chouhan also tweeted "MP mein nahi hoga SC/ST Act the durupuyog, bina jaanch ke nahi hogi giraftari (misuse of SC/ST Act won't be allowed in the state, no arrests will be made sans thorough probe)."
Importantly, the general category and OBC constitute over 60% of the population in the assembly poll-bound state and have largely backed the BJP in the state, which has seen it rule the central Indian state since last 14 years. All three BJP chief ministers in the state since last 14 years, including Uma Bharti, Babulal Gaur and Shivraj Singh Chouhan himself are from the politically powerful OBC segment.
Chouhan's remarks came a day before massive show of strength by the anti-SC/ST Act brigade in Ujjain. However, making light of the CM's statements, ex-IAS officer Dr Hirlal Trivedi, also the patron of Samanya Pichhra Alpsankhyak Kalyan Samaj (SAPAKS) termed the CM's statements as an eyewash.
"The CM is trying to befool the people with such hollow statements," said Trivedi while maintaining that the struggle against the amended law will continue till it's not revoked.SAPAKS is leading the movements against the amended law all across the state. The poll-bound state has been reporting widespread protests by upper caste and OBC population. Protestors have been showing blacks flags to senior BJP and Congress leaders and protesting outside their houses.
Even the ongoing Jan Ashirwad Yatra (JAY) convoy of the CM has been pelted with stones twice since September 2, first in Sidhi district and then on September 16 in Ratlam district. Role of the anti-SC/ST Act brigade is suspected in both the cases, although the BJP and the CM have alleged opposition Congress' hand in the September 2 incident.
On Thursday, anti-SC/ST Act protestors managed to storm into the residence of MP PWD minister Rampal Singh in Bhopal over the issue. Alert cops deployed there, however, used force to disperse the protestors. Some protestors also tried to protest outside the MP Congress Committee office in the state capital.
Also, as per reports from Bhind district, posters mentioning that BJP MP from Bhind seat Bhagirath Prasad has been missing from constituency and is averse to even shaking hands with the general and OBC people have been put in the politically volatile MP district edging UP.
In a related development, veteran BJP leader and ex-CM Babulal Gaur backed the demands of the general category and OBC population, saying that the people who have largely helped the BJP win again and again are feeling that injustice has been meted out to them.