Nagpur: Hundreds of men and women were booked by police in different areas for indulging in arson, vandalism and violence during Bharat Bandh called by several Dalit organisations to protest against ‘dilution’ of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by Supreme Court. Widespread incidents of arson, vandalism and violence were reported in many parts of city during the Bharat Bandh on Monday, April 2.
One city bus was torched and many other vehicles were damaged by the protesters. Cases of tyre burning and pelting of stones on shops and establishments were reported from many pockets of the city. Train services were hit as the protesters stopped the Chennai-New Delhi Express at Gaddigodam area by squatting on tracks and climbing on the engine.
Jaripatka police booked over 70 protesters while Sitabuldi police registered cases against 300-400 men and women for indulging in arson and violent acts. Similarly, Pachpaoli, Sadar, New Kamptee police booked dozens of protesters. The arson and vandalism caused losses to the tune of lakhs of rupees. Many protesters and policemen were injured in clashes during the bandh.
The protesters were booked under Sections 143, 147, 149, 341, 294, 427, 435, 336, 117 and other relevant Sections of the IPC.
The shutdown was called by Dalit groups against a Supreme Court order of March 20. Maintaining that the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was being misused in certain cases, the Supreme Court changed two key provisions of the law, stopping the immediate arrest of an accused and introducing a provision for bail.