Barely a week after Dalit communities observed a Bharat Bandh on April 2 against dilution of the SC/ST Act, certain other groups have called for another Bharat Bandh on Tuesday, against caste-based reservation in jobs and education.
Increased reservations for various castes in the fields of jobs and education make it difficult for those in ‘General’ category to secure jobs or seats in educational courses. The caste-based reservations have also been blamed for the trend of ‘brain drain’ by which Indians work or study abroad rather than in India. Critics of the caste-based reservation system have instead vouched for economic-status based reservation, according to which seats and jobs would be reserved for those with an economically weak background.
Although no specific group has come forward to officially lead the Bandh, following the clashes and the deaths in the previous Bandh, the Union Home Ministry has advised all states to strengthen security and check any possible violence on Tuesday.
According to officials, the Home Ministry’s advisory was issued based on intelligence inputs and keeping in mind the clashes on April 2 where widespread violence took place in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Jharkhand.
“The home ministry has advised the states to beef up security and make appropriate arrangements to prevent any untoward incident, including issue of prohibitory orders, if necessary,” an official told NDTV.
The ministry advisory also specified that Districts Magistrates and police chiefs will be personally held responsible for any violence taking place in areas under their control.
The Rajasthan government has suspended mobile phone internet services and imposed prohibitory orders in Jaipur and Alwar. Meanwhile, internet services have also been suspended in UP’s Saharanpur since midnight and Section 144 imposed in Uttarakhand’s Nainital.
The call for ‘Bharat Bandh’ on April 2 was first given by Dalit group Sanvidhaan Bachao Sangharash Committee and which was later supported by the All India Adi Dharam Mission and All India Adi Dharam Sadhu Samaj. In Punjab, the protest call was led by the state’s Samvidhan Bachao Morcha of 200 Dalit and Valmiki organisations.
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