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Bharat Bandh by SC/ST organisations had partial impact in Odisha's tribal-dominated areas

Various Dalit groups took out a bike rally from Uttara to Mausima Temple and then from Rasulgarh to Vani Vihar, before reaching the designated dharna place of the Capital City - Lower PMG.

Published: 02nd April 2018 08:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd April 2018 08:45 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The SC/ST/OBC and Minority Joint Action Committee of Odisha supported the Bharat Bandh, called by various Dalit groups on Monday against the Supreme Court order ruling that before filing any case of atrocities on members of SC and ST community, a probe by a DSP-level rank officer would be mandatory. The strike in Odisha had partial impact in some tribal dominated western districts.

Various Dalit groups took out a bike rally from Uttara to Mausima Temple and then from Rasulgarh to Vani Vihar, before reaching the designated dharna place of the Capital City - Lower PMG.

The protestors burnt the effigy of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Lower PMG and demanded that the Centre should file a review petition challenging the apex court order on the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

"The Centre should file a review petition before a larger bench of the Supreme Court challenging the order on the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. We are going to give a memorandum in this regard to the President through the Governor," SC/ST/OBC and Minority Joint Action Committee of Odisha's coordinator Sangram Keshari Mallick told the Express before leaving for Raj Bhavan.

Mallick expressed his apprehension by saying that if the Centre would not act immediately then various states would start implementing the apex court's order.

The protestors mentioned in their memorandum to the President Ram Nath Kovind that the SC ruling would have a detrimental impact on the Act and on the human rights of about 30 crore SC/ST people living in the Country and on about two crore people living in the State.

The committee burnt tyres near Income Tax office and in Vani Vihar before reaching Lower PMG. Capital police station in-charge ACP Manas Garnaik and other officers were present at Lower PMG to avoid any untoward incident.

However, the transport system, educational institutes and business establishments in the Capital were not affected by the protests.

Various Dalit groups also protested in other parts of the State including, at Rourkela, Sambalpur, Malkangiri district, among others places. The buses remained off-road in Biramitrapur in
Sundergarh, along with Malkangiri, Kalahandi and Balangir districts.

In its March 20 order, a Supreme Court bench noted instances of the SC/ST Act's abuse by vested interests and laid down several safeguards, including provision for an anticipatory bail, if no prima facie case was made out under the act.

Besides this, the apex court's order also said that before filing any case of atrocities on members of SC and ST community, a probe by a DSP-level rank officer would be mandatory and a prior permission would also be required from senior officials before arresting any government official in such cases.

While hearing a petition filed by the Maharashtra Government, the Supreme Court made an observation that many fake cases were being registered under the Act.

Meanwhile, the Centre on Monday filed a petition seeking review of the Supreme Court order allegedly diluting the Act's provisions.



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