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Reports of protests emerged from several cities of the country against the SC’s ruling. In Madhya Pradesh, people blocked road and rail network and set fire to some public property. In the resulting violence, five people lost their lives. Widespread protests were also reported from the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Here are the reactions of various political leaders and ministers on the ongoing protests:
Rajnath Singh, (Union Home Minister)
We have filed the review petition in Supreme Court. I appeal to all political parties and groups to maintain peace and not incite violence”.
I am deeply pained by the acts of violence and loss of precious lives in some parts of the country today during pro… https://t.co/R2HhjGkGAv
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) 1522672037000
Rahul Gandhi (Congress president)
“To keep the Dalits at the lowest level of the Indian society is in the DNA of BJP/RSS. Whosoever tries to raise his voice is violently suppressed. Thousands of Dalit brothers and sisters have taken to the streets against the Modi government demanding the protection of their rights. We salute them,” he tweeted in Hindi.
दलितों को भारतीय समाज के सबसे निचले पायदान पर रखना RSS/BJP के DNA में है। जो इस सोच को चुनौती देता है उसे वे हिंसा… https://t.co/cdhUIBQhQo
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) 1522647998000
Mayawati (National president Bahujan Samaj Party)
“I support the protest against the SC/ST Act. I have got to know that some people spread violence during the protests, I strongly condemn it. Our party is not behind the violence during the protests,” she said.
Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal chief minister)
“We are shocked and pained that some of my Dalit brothers and sisters have been killed and injured. We support their cause. I appeal for peace,” Banerjee said.
Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi chief minister)
“Under the situation resulting due to Supreme Court’s decision on SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, AAP is with the movement of SC/ST community. Central government should deploy top lawyers for the petition in the Supreme Court and the need and fundamental intent of the Act should be preserved.”
Sitaram Yechury (Secretary General of Communist Party of India)
“We condemn the police firing. Such a situation has arisen because of the failure of the Modi government to present an effective case against the dilution of the Prevention of Atrocities Act,” he said in a tweet.
We condemn the police firing. Such a situation has arisen because of the failure of the Modi government to present… https://t.co/cUUPFVYvx9
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) 1522670886000
Ram Vilas Paswan (Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution)
“Rahul Gandhi has no moral right to speak about the issues of Dalits. He should first answer why his party did this to Ambedkar… The Congress only abused him and encouraged others to abuse him,” he said.
“One can understand if people protest, but why is opposition playing politics? Parties like Congress who did not give Bharat Ratna to BR Ambedkar are now acting like his followers,” he added.