New Delhi: The CBSE issued a statement on Sunday saying the Board is postponing the April 2 Board examinations in Punjab after a request by the Punjab government voicing apprehension over a bandh call given by Dalit outfits in the state.
The Board has also clarified that examinations will go as per schedule in Chandigarh. The CBSE statement added that the Board will soon announce the new date of Class 10 and 12 examinations in Punjab.
The Punjab government on Sunday ordered a security clampdown as a precautionary measure in the state on Monday with schools to remain shut and buses off the road.
The action came after a bandh call for Monday by Dalit organisations against the Supreme Court’s amendment of the SC/ST Atrocities Act.
In its statement, the board said, "The board has received a letter of request dated 01.04.2108 from the Director General School Education stating that due to apprehensions of law and order problems and other disturbances on 2nd April 2018 during the call for Bharat Bandh given by some organisations and to prevent any untoward situation involving school going children, the state government has taken a decision to keep all schools closed on that day and have also requested CBSE to postpone all its examinations scheduled to be held on 2nd April 2018."
A large contingent of police force has been deployed at various parts of the state while the Army has also been roped in. ANI reported that Punjab Chief Secretary Karan A Singh has written a letter to the Secretary, Department of Defence, saying, “Army in Punjab is to remain ready for any eventuality as state government may need their assistance in maintaining law and order.”
A spokesperson of the Punjab government said mobile internet services in the state will remain suspended from 5 pm on Saturday till 11 pm on Monday in a bid to check rumour mongering on social media.
All public and private transport will stay off the road during the bandh to prevent any untoward incident, the spokesperson said.
The orders were issued after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh reviewed the security arrangements with top police and administration officials in the evening.
It was followed by a video conference involving the Chief Secretary, deputy commissioners and other senior officials of all districts, the spokesperson said in a statement. Security forces conducted flag marches at some places in the state on Sunday as a precautionary measure.
Elaborating on the precautionary measures taken by the government, the spokesperson said four battalions each of the Rapid Action Force and the Border Security Force, and 12,000 additional police personnel will remain on duty on Monday to maintain law and order.
The complete shutdown call was given last week in Phagwara by Valmiki leader Dharamvir Sethi. Sethi had alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was anti-Dalit. The agitators also burnt Modi’s effigy during the protest.
Singh has appealed to Dalit organisations in the state to maintain peace and harmony. In a statement released by the CM’s Office, Singh noted that Punjab the highest population of Scheduled Castes in the country and account nearly 32 percent of state’s population. The government accords the highest priority to the community to ensure their all-round welfare and committed to safeguard their interests, the statement said.
A government spokesperson told IANS, “The Chief Minister said that the Punjab Government was already committed for the welfare of Scheduled Castes, which was evident from the fact that the Punjab Vidhan Sabha unanimously adopted a resolution to express solidarity with our SC brethren during its recently concluded Budget Session seeking the NDA Government’s intervention to legally pursue the case in which a Supreme Court verdict had diluted provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.”
(With agency inputs)