India's top court to hear centre's plea after violent Dalit protests

India's top court to hear centre's plea after violent Dalit protests

"When the case on the SC/ST Act was going on in the Supreme court, the Centre did not make efforts to defend the stand of the Government in the court", senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said. Violent protests were reported from various states, including Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Gujarat, and Punjab. With this new Supreme Court order, these legal obligations have ended.

Demonstrators also put several vehicles on fire in these bandh-hit areas.

Meerut: A lawyer retaliates by hurling a stone at protestors as police personnel look on, outside District Bar Association office during "Bharat Bandh" call by Dalit organisations against the alleged dilution of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Act, in Meerut on Monday.

Maximum violence in the state was reported from western Uttar Pradesh, where the protesters took to the streets and went on rampage.

The death toll in Monday's violence initiated by India's Dalit community has touched 12.

In UP, one person was killed in Muzaffarnagar and another in Meerut, while almost 75 persons including 40 policemen were injured in violent protests in various parts of the state.

While this was the state of crimes, the response of the judicial process was even more disappointing. Police and paramilitary forces were deployed in large numbers but reports reaching here spoke of stray incidents of violence in some places. Dalits have been marginalised for centuries, and they have traditionally been forced to perform jobs deemed menial by other castes.

Dalits in Gwalior protested on Tuesday against hurriedly cremation of four Dalits boys by police at night instead of going for autopsies of dead who were brutally killed by gunfire and there was video evidence shooting at Dalit boys allegedly by supporters of the BJP Member of Parliament Narendra Tomar.

Two policemen were booked in connection with the death in police firing, an official said.

The most damning evidence for betrayal of justice is this: between 2010 and 2016, conviction rates dropped sharply from 38% to 16% for crimes against dalits, and from 26% to 8% for crimes against adivasis.

Several cities across the state observed bandh by traders to protest the loot and arson they were subjected to during the bandh.

The Dalit community effectively halted public transportation, shut down banks and educational institutes and postponed high school examinations in Punjab, where the lower-caste Indians are found most in numbers.

Dalits are some of the country's most downtrodden citizens because of the Hindu caste hierarchy that condemns them to the bottom of the heap.

Last week, news reports said a Dalit man was hacked to death by upper caste villagers because he owned and rode a horse, long considered a status symbol in rural India.

The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 was brought into law to prevent crimes against people belonging to lower castes and tribes in India.

In the national capital region, protesters squatted on tracks at several places, stopping trains, including the Dehradun Express and the Ranchi Rajdhani, while a Northern Railway official said services were also disrupted by a mob in Ghaziabad.

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