Bharat Bandh: No rallies, but most bizmen keep shops shut in Jaipur
Most Jaipur businessmen kept their shops shut on Tuesday to observe Bharat Bandh, which many say, was called by some groups opposed to caste-based reservations in education and jobsjaipur Updated: Apr 10, 2018 22:23 IST
Most Jaipur businessmen kept their shops shut on Tuesday to observe Bharat Bandh, which many say, was called by some groups opposed to caste-based reservations in education and jobs and in retaliation of the April 2 nationwide strike by Dalit groups to protest the alleged dilution of SC/ST Act.
Almost all shops remained closed for the first half while some shopkeepers started opening their shops in the latter half of the day. However, there were no rallies or processions by people from general and unreserved categories, who were behind the bandh on Tuesday.
On April 2, Dalit protesters were seen on streets of Jaipur in large numbers and also indulged in vandalism and arson at some places.
Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC were imposed and mobile internet services blocked in the state capital. District police chiefs and collectors have been asked to take prompt action in case of an untoward incident.
The shopkeepers said that there was no call for bandh on Tuesday and they voluntarily decided to keep the shutters down. “The simple reason for today’s market shutdown was to tell people that whatever happened on April 2 was wrong. I feel that the caste-based reservations should be done away with now,” said Sunil Kumar, owner of a cloth shop in Chaura Rasta area.
He also supported the Supreme Court’s March 20 interpretation of the SC/ST Act that banned automatic arrests and registration of criminal cases under the act. “Earlier, a woman belonging to the SC/ST community could go to the police and falsely say that so and so winked at her and the person would be arrested. Was that fair?” he asked.
“There was resentment among people regarding what happened on April 2. Nobody asked them to shut the shops,” said Anil Tambi, executive member of the Jaipur Jewellers’ Association.
Some shopkeepers said that they were not keen for the bandh but kept their shops closed expecting low footfall.
“The situation in the state is peaceful,” ADG (Law and Order) NRK Reddy said. Paramilitary forces, including contingents from BSF and CRPF, have been deployed in sensitive areas across the state, the police officer said.
“Since there is no responsibility of the bandh call, it is likely that anti-social elements may try to disrupt peace. Therefore, tight security arrangements are in place today,” the ADG said.
“We have made elaborate security arrangements and the situation is quite normal. No incident has occurred so far. Prohibitory orders are in place and mobile internet services have been blocked in Jaipur,” Jaipur police commissioner Sanjay Agrawal said.
With PTI inputs