Bharat bandh: CBSE postpones class 10, 12 board exams in Punjab, security tightened
The CBSE has postponed class 12 and class 10 examinations scheduled to be held on Monday in Punjab at the request of the state government in view of ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by several Dalit organisations against the alleged “dilution” of the SCs/STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The board said it has received a letter of request, dated April 1, 2018, from the director general (school education) of the Punjab government to postpone all its examinations scheduled to be held on Monday on account of apprehensions of law and order problems and other disturbances in the day during the ‘Bharat Bandh’.
“Taking congnisance of the letter of the director general (school education), the CBSE decided to postpone all class 12 and 10 examinations scheduled for April 2 , 2018 in the state of Punjab,” it said in a statement issued late in the night.
“Exams will carry on as per schedule in UT of Chandigarh and rest of the country,” it said.
The next date of the examinations in Punjab will be announced soon by the board, it added.
The Punjab government on Sunday ordered a security clampdown across the state as a precautionary measure in view of Monday’s bandh by a number of Dalit organisations to protest the alleged dilution of the SC/ST Act.
While ordering closure of all educational institutions and suspension of state-owned road transport services, the Punjab government has asked the army and paramilitary forces to be on alert.
Mobile internet services in the state were suspended from 5 pm on Sunday till Monday evening in a bid to check rumour-mongering on the social media.
The orders were issued after chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh reviewed the security arrangements with top police and administrative officials here. The review was followed by a video conference by the chief secretary with the deputy commissioners and other senior officials of all the districts.
The Supreme Court had on March 20 diluted the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, in a bid to protect honest public servants discharging bona fide duties from being blackmailed with false cases under the Act.
The apex court said government servants should not be arrested without prior sanction and private citizens too should be arrested only after an inquiry under the law .
Punjab has the highest concentration of scheduled castes among states. They constitute nearly 32% of the state’s 2.8 crore population.
But Dalit organisations, including the Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch, and some political parties fear the dilution of the provisions might lead to increase in violence against Dalits.
Amarinder Singh also appealed to the protestors to ensure that the mortal remains of the Iraq victims, that are expected to arrive in Amritsar on Monday, are allowed to be transported to their native villages without any impediment.
He also directed the Punjab Police to provide strict security for the same along the routes, from the airport to the respective native villages of the victims.
Noting that the Central government had already announced its decision to file a review petition against the Supreme Court verdict, Captain appealed to the SC/ST community should defer its protest till the final decision on the petition comes.
(With PTI inputs)