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After Bharat Bandh, Dalit Groups to Mark 'National Resistance Day' Today

Tuesday's protests are a continuation of the nation-wide Bharat Bandh of April 2, which was directed against the dilution of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Uday Singh Rana | News18.com

Updated:May 1, 2018, 7:58 AM IST
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After Bharat Bandh, Dalit Groups to Mark 'National Resistance Day' Today
Members of Dalit community and Bhim Army stage a protest during 'Bharat Bandh' against the alleged 'dilution' of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Act by Supreme Court. (PTI)
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New Delhi: A National coalition of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe outfits will mark May 1 as 'National Resistance Day' and lead protests across 20 states, including a rally at Parliament Street in New Delhi.

Tuesday's protests are a continuation of the nation-wide Bharat Bandh of April 2, which was directed against the dilution of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Several prominent leaders from across party lines, such as CPI, CPI (M), Congress and Aam Aadmi Party, have been invited to be part of the protest in Delhi.

"The National Coalition has decided to observe a one-day peaceful demonstration in all district and state headquarters, including New Delhi, against the Supreme Court's decision to dilute certain key provisions to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Based on the decisions of the National Coalition, we are observing peaceful demonstrations on May 1, 2018, i.e. International Labour Day," a statement from the Coalition read.

VA Ramesh Nathan, the general secretary of the National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ)-NCDHR, said the protesters had several demands and in each state, they would submit a memorandum of their demands to the respective Chief Minister. In Delhi, they would hand over their demands to a representative of the Central Government.

"Firstly, the government must bring an ordinance to ensure that the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is preserved. Second, they should challenge the Supreme Court decision via the judicial route. Third, all Dalit and Adivasi activists who have been detained after the Bharat Bandh protests should be released. These are the three main demands but we have a whole list of other demands as well. All these demands will be put forward to the government," Nathan said.

Several political names, such as CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI MP D Raja, former CPM MP Brinda Karat, Congress MPs Oscar Fernandez and Pradeep Tamta, NCP MP Tariq Anwar and AAP government minister Rajendra Pal Gautam are on the guest list for the protest meeting at Parliament Street, New Delhi.

On April 2, protests had broken out across India against the dilution of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 by the Supreme Court. Since then, Dalit outfits have been protesting the "unfair targeting" of Dalits after the April 2 protests turned violent. Four BJP MPs from UP have written to the Prime Minister, claiming cops were targeting Dalits.
| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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