Protest on SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Amendment BillSecurity of MPs and MLAs tightened in Madhya Pradesh
Police tightened the security arrangements for all the MPs and MLAs in Madhya Pradesh including central and state ministers following protests over the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Amendment Bill passed in the parliament last month, said police sources.
Madhya Pradesh has witnessed protests against the ruling party leaders at various places in the past few days.
On Sunday a group of protesters under the banner of one Bharatiya Jan Yug Party staged a demonstration at the bungalows of union minister Narendra Singh Tomar at Gwalior and member of parliament Bhagirath Prasad at Bhind.
Another group of protestors made an attempt to gherao MP minister Maya Singh during a programme on the campus of Jiwaji University, Gwalior on Sunday. Following this, the district administration tightened the security at the bungalows of all these leaders, as per police sources.
Earlier, on Saturday those protesting against the bill staged a demonstration at higher education minister Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya’s bungalow at Gwalior. They showed black flags to union ministers Thaver Chand Gehlot and MJ Akbar when they were in the state to take part in programmes held to mark inauguration of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) at Guna and Vidisha, said police sources.
As per police sources, Gwalior-Chambal region is the most sensitive in the eyes of the authorities. As many as eight people had been killed in Gwalior-Chambal region in clashes on April 2 this year when dalit groups carried out protests across the state angered over what they alleged dilution of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act following a Supreme Court order on March 20 as per which an inquiry was necessitated before arrest of any person facing charges under the Act.
Makrand Deouskar, inspector general of police (intelligence) said, “Instructions have been given to all the superintendents of police to ensure the security of all the MPs and MLAs.”
Bharatiya Jan Yuv Party and Samanya Pichhda Varg Evam Alpsankhayak Samaj, an organisation which has also launched a campaign on the issue claim the protest will continue till their demands are met.
While Samaj’s demands are for repealing the stringent measures in the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and no reservation benefit to family members of those among SC/ST people who have already got the benefit of reservation once, Bharatiya Jan Yug Party has demanded resignation of the ruling party leaders from their posts and repealing of the entire SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
Samaj patrol Hiralal Trivedi said, “It’s unfortunate that the government didn’t respect the Supreme Court’s order which required an inquiry before arrest of any person facing charges under the SC/ST Act. It’s further unfortunate that none of the political parties opposed the central government’s move for the sake of votes.”
Manoj Kushwah, national general secretary (organisation) Bharatiya Jan Yug Party said, “Since the ruling party MPs from Madhya Pradesh didn’t raise their voice in parliament to protect our interest they must resign. We are opposed to the SC/ST Act.”
BJP MP Bhagirath Prasad said, “The SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Amendment Bill was passed in the parliament unanimously. The Act is to protect the interest of the weaker section of the society. Any inquiry prior to arrest may given benefit to criminals. However, I am also opposed to any kind of misuse of the Act.”
State Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chatruvedi said, “Whatever provisions there are as per constitution should be complied with. There is no harm in dialogues within the framework of the constitution between people and their representatives if any section of the farmers has any grudge over any issue.”
State BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said, “BJP is for protecting the interest of all sections of the society and whatever was done on the SC/ST Act was done only after consultation with all the political parties.”
(With input from Mahesh Shivhare in Gwalior)