Bharath Bandh: BSP demands release of arrested protesters
A day after the Noida police arrested 20 people and booked hundreds for sporadic violence during the Bharat Bandh on Monday, the district committee of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has demanded the immediate release of the accused.
On Tuesday, BSP supporters reached the office of senior superintendent of police (SSP) in Surajpur, Greater Noida and demanded the release of the arrested claiming that they have been framed by the police.
“The protest was observed across India and it was peaceful in most places, including Gautam Budh Nagar. Then why have the police arrested peaceful protesters who had gathered to demand justice from the system? We have submitted a memorandum to the police demanding theimmediate release of the protesters and a fair probe in the matter,” Lakhmi Singh, district president, BSP, said.
On Monday, lakhs of protesters belonging to several pro-Dalit organisations had blocked highways and roads in various states to protest against the recent amendments introduced by the Supreme Court in the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Atrocities Act.
Recently, a bench of the Supreme Court had ordered that cases under the SC/ST Atrocities Act will be registered by the police only after a probe by senior police officers in the rank of senior superintendent of police.
Calling the amendments a dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the pro-Dalit groups had declared Bharat Bandh on April 2, demanding roll back of the amendments. Sporadic violence was reported from various states during the bandh.
In Dadri, a UP roadways bus was attacked by the protesters on GT Road. Taking cognizance of the incident, the police arrested 14 persons and booked 200 unknown persons for violence and destruction of public property. Similarly, at the Sector 39 police station, a total of six persons were arrested and 70 unknown persons were booked. At Surajpur police station, nine persons were identified and booked and a case was registered against 400 unknown persons.
Police have booked the protesters under the Indian Penal Code sections 147, 341, 353, 186, 427, 504 and 506 for rioting, wrongful restraint, assault to deter public servant from duty, obstructing public servant from duty, mischief causing damage, intentional insult and criminal intimidation.
However, Singh said the police and the Uttar Pradesh government have acted with vendetta against his party supporters and sympathisers.
“There was no violence in Surajpur and our volunteers were protesting peacefully. Why did the police book nine persons? In Dadri, only one bus was attacked and police ended up arresting 14 people. This act of the police and administration shows the mindset of the Yogi government,” Singh said.
SSP Ajay Pal Sharma said the police will act according to the law. “Investigation is on and due action will be taken,” he said.