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Bharat Bandh: Parts of UP, Bihar Tense Ahead of Counter-protest

The bandh on Tuesday has been called by outfits such as Ranveer Sena to protest against the Bharat Bandh called by Dalit organisations on April 2, which had turned violent in certain parts of the country.

Uday Singh Rana | News18.com

Updated:April 10, 2018, 8:07 AM IST
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Bharat Bandh: Parts of UP, Bihar Tense Ahead of Counter-protest
Protesters hurl brickbats as smoke billows out of burning cars during 'Bharat Bandh' against the alleged 'dilution' of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes act, in Muzzaffarnagar. (PTI Photo)
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New Delhi: Ahead of another Bharat Bandh on Tuesday, this one called by upper caste outfits, the situation in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar remained tense.

The bandh on Tuesday has been called by outfits such as Ranveer Sena to protest against the Bharat Bandh called by Dalit organisations on April 2, which had turned violent in certain parts of the country.

In western UP's Saharanpur district, which is the headquarters of the Bhim Army, internet services were suspended at 7 pm on Monday. The district administration said internet services will be down for two days, till Wednesday, to avoid rumour mongering during the protests.

During the April 2 protests, Bhim Army supporters had occupied a 2 km stretch in the centre of Saharanpur, from Ghantagar Chowk to Kalpana Cinema. However, it was in the rural areas that some violence was witnessed. A police car had been vandalised by some protesters.

Other parts of western UP, including Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat, also suspended internet services. The Muzaffarnagar SSP said that they would contain "anti-social elements" on social media platforms as well and anyone inciting violence would be punished.

Bihar, too, is on the edge. During the April 2 protests, several parts of Bihar had witnessed sporadic violence. Two people, including a newborn baby, had died during the protests. Police and administration are on standby as the Bharat Bandh is all set to begin on Tuesday.

On April 2, protests had broken out across India against the alleged 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 that cops were targeting Dalits. Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad Raavan has launched a hunger strike from Saharanpur district jail, where he is lodged under the National Security Act.​
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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