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Bharat Bandh: Upper castes rise in protest against law reversing SC order on SC/ST Act



Bharat Bandh: Upper castes rise in protest against law reversing SC order on SC/ST Act

Normal life was disrupted across several states as upper caste groups held a nationwide protest – a Bharat Bandh – on Thursday, September 6, demanding rollback of an amendment bill passed by Parliament that restores the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act that overrode a Supreme Court order diluting it.

The amendment has now been challenged in the Supreme Court.

In BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, some of the upper-caste protesters have also been targeting elected representatives and raising slogans against the ruling BJP-led government at Centre for voting in favour of the amendment, said media reports.

Over the past few days, the state has witnessed protests in districts like Morena, Bhind, Gwalior, Mandsaur and Neemuch, with people from upper-caste— and at many places people belonging to Other Backward Classes — joining hands to gherao legislators, demanding that reservation be rolled back and the checks introduced by the apex court be re-introduced.

The response to the protest call seemed spontaneous in as much as there was no single group behind it.

Prohibitory orders were in place and tight security arrangements were made to prevent any untoward incident. Schools and petrol pumps were shut across districts and internet services are likely to be affected, said reports.

The upper caste anger followed Centre’s move, following protests by SC/ST groups, to get the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018, passed in the Lok Sabha, which overturned the Supreme Court’s 20 March order in which it had observed that the Act was being used to “blackmail innocent citizens”.

The court introduced safeguards which, SC/ST leaders and organisations said, diluted the Act and rendered it toothless.

On 2 April, nine people were killed and many were injured in clashes reported from several places during a Bharat bandh called by SC/ST groups in protest against the controversial Supreme Court order.

The amendment to law to overturn the apex court order had its own repercussions – nottoo unexpectedly, given a sustained social media and WhatsApp campaign against reservations and SC/ST groups over the last couple of years.

The upper castes want the government to roll back their amendment to the SC/ST Act and restore the “progressive and just” Supreme Court guidelines.

They claim upper castes were being oppressed in the name of social justice and many of them have been implicated in false cases – a kind of ‘reverse caste oppression’.

Sentiments of most members and supporters of BJP are with the upper castes. MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s son Kartikeyreportedly came out in support of the Bharat Bandh and closed shops.

Officially, the BJP, however, remains opposed to upper caste stand even as the resentment erupted on Bharat bandh day.

Demonstrators took to streets, burning tyres and effigies and stopping trains, forcing locals to stay indoors. Reports of violence emerged from parts of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, said a Zee news report. Bandh was also observed in Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.

Police lathicharge on protestors was reported from a few places in MP.Protests were held by students and teacher community in Banaras Hindu University.

The call for ‘Bharat Bandh’ given by several groups against the amendments in the SC/ST Act evoked a good response in Rajasthan where many shops and business establishments, schools and other educational institutions remained closed.

In Jharkhand, demonstrators stopped public transport, and vandalised property, said reports quoting locals. In Patna, Bihar, hundreds of protesters took to streets, some gathering in front of state BJP office.

The BJP, caught in a bind due to protests from its core constituency, is cautious. UP CM Yogi Adityanath said that the Bharat Bandh called by some upper caste and OBC groups in the country in protest against the parliament amendment over SC/ST Act has “no meaning”. “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 told news agency PTI.

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.

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Congress suspends Patiala MP and Captain Amarinder Singh’s wife Preneet Kaur

The DAC has issued a show-cause notice to her and asked her to explain within 3 days why she should not be expelled from the party.



MP and Captain Amarinder Singh's wife Preneet Kaur

Congress on Friday suspended Lok Sabha MP Preneet Kaur, wife of former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, from the party with immediate effect for indulging in anti-party activities to help the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The step was taken by the Disciplinary Action Committee of the AICC after it received a complaint from the President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPC), Amrinder Singh Raja Warring.

The DAC has issued a show-cause notice to her and asked her to explain within 3 days why she should not be expelled from the party.

The party in a press release stated, Hon’ble Congress President has received a complaint from Shri Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, President, PCC Punjab alleging that Smt. Preneet Kaur, MP (Lok Sabha) from Patiala is indulging in anti-party activities to help BJP.

It further said, Some other senior Congress leaders of Punjab also share this view. The complaint was referred to the Disciplinary Action Committee of the AICC for necessary action. The DAC carefully considered it and decided that Smt. Preneet Kaur, MP (Lok Sabha) from Patiala, should be suspended from the Party with immediate effect, the press release added.

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While speaking to the news agency ANI, the Congress leader Tariq Anwar said the party was getting regular complaints about Preneet Kaur indulging in anti-party activities and the party’s state unit was demanding disciplinary action against her. The party’s Disciplinary Committee decided to suspend her. Show-cause notice served to her, he added.

Preneet Kaur served as a Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs from 2009 to 2014. She is married to Captain Amarinder Singh who is currently in the BJP after he resigned from the Congress party in 2021.

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DMK MLAs reach Puducherry Legislative Assembly in school uniforms to protest against government

The session, which commenced around 9.30 am, was later adjourned around 9.54 am.



DMK MLAs in school uniforms

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MLAs in Puducherry on Friday reached the Legislative Assembly Hall clad in blue school uniforms and ID cards on cycle to protest against the government for delaying providing free uniforms, bicycles and laptops to the government school students.

According to the reports, the academic year 2022–23 in Puducherry schools started in June last year, and the government is yet to distribute uniforms to the students. There are also reports that some students in UT schools have also not received their textbooks yet.

Under Leader of Opposition R Siva, six DMK MLAs arrived at the third session of the 15th Puducherry Legislative Assembly on bicycles in government school uniforms, including ID cards around their necks and bags over their shoulders. A video of the same is doing rounds on social media.

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Siva said that the school education department is in shambles. There are around 800 schools and more than 35 percent of them do not have proper teachers. The government has not provided free notebooks, laptops, cycles or uniforms to students. Even merit scholarships were not provided to students. There is no proper infrastructure here, students don’t even get proper food daily, he added.

He further claimed that there is too much intervention by Puducherry Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan in the day-to-day affairs of the elected government.

The session, which commenced around 9.30 am, was later adjourned around 9.54 am. The move came after DMK MLAs raised these issues and urged the N Rangasamy-led All-India NR Congress government to pass a resolution demanding statehood for Puducherry and to come up with a fresh policy to revive industries closed in the region. The DMK MLAs then staged a workout, followed by Congress MLAs.

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Parliament adjourned till 2pm following protest by Opposition over Adani issue

The Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned till 2 pm, whereas, Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2:30 pm following the uproar by opposition on Adani Issue.




The Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned till 2 pm on Friday after the House saw opposition protesting and demanding discussion on the Adani issue. As per reports, the Opposition parties had sought a joint parliamentary committee investigation into the case of Adani Group company stocks.

According to reports, soon after the lower House started its proceedings, it saw the Opposition members on their feet sloganeering and demanding an investigation into the plummeting of Adani group scrips, as well as an investigation into the business practices of the Adani Group.

Following Opposition’s demands, Speaker Om Birla requested the members to indulge in the discussions during the Question Hour which he termed as significant. The Lok Sabha Speaker also said that the House would take up the Motion of Thanks to the President for her address at the beginning of Budget session.

Birla also suggested and said that as it was the first address to the joint sitting of the House by the country’s first tribal woman president, all members should partake in it. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla also said that he would oblige with Opposition’s demands if they gave him proper notice.

However, the Opposition continued on their protest and sloganeering which forced the Speaker of the house to adjourn the proceedings till 2 pm.

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Rajya Sabha Adjournment

The Upper House saw a similar ordeal in the regular proceedings as the Rajya Sabha too was adjourned till 2:30 pm following the uproar in the House by the Opposition over the Adani Issue.
It was reported that as the House met on Friday, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankar declined the 15 adjournment notices filed by members of various opposition outfits seeking to discuss the Adani issue.

Dhankar appealed to the members of the Upper House to maintain order and let the scheduled listed matters be heard and discussed. However, the Opposition continued their protest and sloganeering after Chairman Dhankar rejected the adjournment notices by the Opposition.

Following the uproar in the Upper House, Dhankar remarked and said that the Parliament is rather a place for discussion and deliberation, not a place of disturbance. Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankar while talking about the the 15 notices of adjournment handed to him by the Opposition, said that he is unable to comply with the demand as they fail to fulfil the requirements of rule 267.

Chairman Dhankar went on to adjourn the house till 2:30 pm as the protest by the Opposition continued.

The row about Adani group in the Parliament comes in the wake of the Hindenburg report about the conglomerate that allege the Adani group of improper use of tax havens and raising concerns about debt levels.

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