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Bharat Bandh LIVE: UGC Roster, Forest Rights Bone of Contention as Tribal, Dalit Outfits Demand Ordinance

News18.com | March 5, 2019, 3:07 PM IST
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Bharat Bandh LIVE: Tribal and Dalit rights organisations have called for an all-India bandh on Tuesday against the Supreme Court order on their eviction from their habitat. Though the court had put a stay on its order after the petition by the Centre, the tribal groups are of the opinion that it is a temporary relief in the absence of a law and are demanding that the Centre bring in an ordinance to ensure their rights are protected.

Several Bahujan groups will also be part of the protests, especially in view of the Supreme Court’s recent dismissal of a review petition on a 13-point roster, which will affect the chances of SC, ST, and OBC candidates to take up faculty posts in universities. They are demanding an ordinance that will overturn the roster for department-wise recruitment system in universities.
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Mar 5, 2019 3:07 pm (IST)

Meanwhile in Kanpur, police have started firing into the air in order to remove the crowd. Three police personnel, including CO Arpith Kapoor, were injured when the protesters began pelting stones. There is jam on National Highway, where the protesters have gathered.

Mar 5, 2019 3:00 pm (IST)

Krantikari Yuva Sangathan who are among the protesters at Jantar Mantar have put out a charter listing 13 demands. These include - more reservation for SC/ST and OBC category students, increase in the number of seats in institutes of higher education and an overall decrease in the fees. 

Mar 5, 2019 2:53 pm (IST)

The National president of the SC/ST Wing of the Samajwadi Party Khemchand Koli, who is also present at the protest venue said, "SP not only extends its support but has decided to be physically present. Akhilesh Yadav ji had instructed us to join the protest in Delhi. We have people from Meerut, Baghpat and other areas including New Delhi." 

Mar 5, 2019 2:45 pm (IST)

Rajya Sabha MP and Delhi University Professor Manoj Jha in his address to the gathering said, "If the Centre does not bring about an ordinance in the 13 point roster, we will flood the streets. Remember the last words of Rohith Vemula - 'my life was a tragic accident' ". 

Mar 5, 2019 2:39 pm (IST)

Members of the Delhi University Teacher's Association (DUTA) along with students from several Universities have gathered at Delhi's Jantar Mantar to demand for a reversal to the 200-point roster system. 

Mar 5, 2019 2:14 pm (IST)

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in-solidarity | Congress chief Rahul Gandhi extending his support to the protesters, slammed the government for their "false promises". "Our tribal and Dalit brother and sisters are in crisis. The false promises of the Prime Minister have forced them to land on the roads today. Their forest and the right to life are constantly attacked. Withholding forest rights. From tampering in constitutional reservation. I am completely with them," he tweeted.

Mar 5, 2019 2:06 pm (IST)

The Rashtriya Lok Samta Party are staging protests across Bihar in support of today's strike. The Bharat bandh was called by Dalit and Adivasi groups over demands for promulgation against the SC order evicting 10 lakh tribals and forest-dwelling families and the 13-point roster system.

Mar 5, 2019 1:34 pm (IST)

Centre Planning to Pass Ordinance in Last Cabinet Meeting | According to sources, the Centre is planning to bring an ordinance on the 13-point roster system in the last Cabinet meeting on March 7.  The ordinance will negate the Supreme Court order upholding the new roster-system which will affect the SC/ST and OBC reservation in university faculty positions.

Mar 5, 2019 12:56 pm (IST)

Supreme Court on February 13 had ordered the eviction of over 10 lakh tribals and other traditional forest dwellers from forest lands across 16 Indian states. The move came after the Central government failed to defend the Forest Rights Act, which protects their rights. The top court then moved to stay the order after the Centre filed a plea on February 27. The court has also called for an investigation to ascertain whether the claims of the tribals on those lands had been properly adjudicated or not. 

Mar 5, 2019 12:51 pm (IST)

Prakash Ambedkar, national leader of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh hit out at the February 13 Supreme Court eviction order. "The Center should urgently appeal an appeal against the decision of the Supreme Court regarding tribal's forest land. Also, the Ordinance should be taken against the decision against the 13 Point Roster. Full support for today's India band" he wrote in a tweet.

Mar 5, 2019 11:38 am (IST)

Meanwhile, Samajadwadi Party workers continue to protest in various parts of UP. Other opposition parties who have extended their support to today's bandh include the Aam Admi Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal.

Mar 5, 2019 11:09 am (IST)

"We will take the necessary legal steps to get the justice. Wait till the Cabinet Meeting and the University community will get the justice. We have already sorted it out and there will be a provision for a 200-point roster and not department-wise recruitment," Prakash Javadekar said.  Following the Supreme Court order in January, the government had announced that it will bring about an ordinance if their review petition is dismissed. The top court last month moved to dismiss the review petition by the Centre. 

Mar 5, 2019 11:02 am (IST)

'Wait For Last Cabinet Meeting' Says Javadekar | Addressing the media, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar appealed the protestors to stop agitation with the promise that they "will be given justice". Javadekar said that the Centre had never agreed to the Supreme Court's January decision which had upheld the new 13-point roster system. "We have said that we are in favour of the 200-point roster. We are going to give it," he said. The protestors have demanded for an ordinance on the 13-point roster system.

Mar 5, 2019 10:51 am (IST)

Loktantrik Janata Dal founder Sharad Yadav meanwhile, spoke out against the SC eviction order affecting 10 lakh tribals and other forest dwellers. "We don't want assurance but want justice on d issue of eviction of 10 lakh tribals & similarly on d 13 point roster system in d Universities issue. This Govt is not alert, positive & pro active for social justice. To awake this Govt I support d Bharat bandh," he tweeted.

Mar 5, 2019 10:37 am (IST)

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav has also hit out at the Centre over the UGC roster-system. Yadav in a tweet on Tuesday wrote, "Samajwadi Party is in strong opposition to the 13-point roster system of anti-reservation anti-reservation policy in the educational institutions by the BJP government. Dalit, OBC, backward, weak, deprived opposition, this policy is neglecting and ignoring the constitution".

Mar 5, 2019 10:32 am (IST)

Opposition Party Leaders Pledge Support | Rashtriya Janata Dal's Tejaswi Yadav, who has expressed his support for today's bandh, slammed the Modi government over the 13-point roster system. "Modi government’s decision to abolish 13 point roster & approval of 10% quota to the EWS in the General category is not in line with the principle of affirmative action in the Constitution. RSS is hell bent on scrapping the reservation of SC/ST & OBCs," he had written in a tweet on Monday

Mar 5, 2019 10:24 am (IST)

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar will speak on the UGC roster system at 10.30 am. It is likely that he will announce an ordinance to negate the SC order. The top court had in January upheld the Allahabad High Court's ruling that reservation in faculty posts in universities should be applied department-wise and not by treating the university as one unit.

Mar 5, 2019 10:13 am (IST)

According to the University Grant Commission's new 13-point roster system, individual departments and not universities or colleges will be considered as the unit for implementing reservation for SC/ST or OBC in appointments for faculty positions Many have said that this will drastically cut the number of posts reserved for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes. Dalits, Adivasis and the Other Backward Classes who have been accorded 15%, 7.5% and 27% reservation respectively. Hence, if the unit under consideration is small, there will be no scope for ensuring reservation. 

Mar 5, 2019 9:46 am (IST)

Protests Erupt in Bihar | More than 10 activists belonging to the All India Students Association have been detained by the police while stopping the train in Bihar's Arrah city. The protesters were detained by the GRP and RPF near the railway station. Meanwhile, operations of the Ahmedabad-Patna train have been interrupted and RJD activists stopped the Janshabadi Express plying from Patna to Ranchi by firing on the railway track near Jehanabad Station. Rashtriya Janata Dal workers have stopped the traffic by blocking the NH 83 near the station gate. Bhim Army members have also taken to protesting on the Patna-Ranchi National Highway 31 in Nawada. Shops near the major roads are expected to remain closed today. 

Mar 5, 2019 9:32 am (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Supreme Court Rules Eviction of Over 10 Lakh Tribal Families Across 16 States

The order was passed on a PIL which challenged the validity of the Forest Rights Act, passed in 2006 to give back to traditional forest dwellers their right to access, manage and govern forests.

Mar 5, 2019 9:31 am (IST)

SP Workers Halt Trains in Prayagraj | In Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj, workers of the Samajwadi Party have halted the Gomti train plying to Lucknow. The workers have begun sloganeering from atop the train's engines.Today's bandh has been called over several demands including the 13-point roster, which will affect recruitment to faculty positions in universities and the SC eviction order of tribal groups and forest dwellers.

Mar 5, 2019 9:16 am (IST)

In Delhi, the protesters are set to march from Mandi House to Parliament Street. Tribals in Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and other states in the Northeast are set to join Tuesday’s bandh. The daylong bandh will culminate in petitions, with these demands being submitted to district administrations at the local level, and to the President and Prime Minister in Delhi.

Mar 5, 2019 9:15 am (IST)

Several Bahujan groups will also be part of the protests, especially in view of the Supreme Court’s recent dismissal of a review petition on a 13-point roster, which will affect the chances these candidates to take up faculty posts in universities. They are demanding an ordinance that will overturn the roster for department-wise recruitment system in universities.

Mar 5, 2019 9:14 am (IST)

Bandh to Raise Demand for Better Representation in Govt Jobs | The Dalit and Tribal rights wings have also demanded that the government establish the Indian Judicial Services under Article 312 of the Constitution, for recruitment in higher judiciary posts to ensure inclusion of SCs, STs, OBCs, minorities and women. 

Mar 5, 2019 9:12 am (IST)

Bharat Bandh Today by Tribal, Dalit Outfits | Tribal and Dalit rights organisations have called for an all-India bandh on Tuesday against the Supreme Court order ut eviction of tribals and forest dwellers, whose claims over forest land were rejected under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. Though the court had put a stay on its order after the petition by the Centre, the tribal groups are of the opinion that it is a temporary relief in the absence of a law and are demanding that the Centre bring in an ordinance to ensure their rights are protected.

Bharat Bandh LIVE: UGC Roster, Forest Rights Bone of Contention as Tribal, Dalit Outfits Demand Ordinance
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In Delhi, the protesters are set to march from Mandi House to Parliament Street. Tribals in Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and other states in the Northeast are set to join Tuesday’s bandh. According to initial reports, Samajwadi Party (SP) stopped the Ganga Gomti Express, which runs from Prayagraj to Lucknow, in Prayagraj on Tuesday. Several parties have come out in support of Bharat Bandh.
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