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The Centre today filed a plea in the top court seeking the restoration of the earlier status by which any offence under the SC/ST Act was made a cognizable non-bailable offence.
Last month, the Supreme Court barred automatic arrests on complaints filed under the SC/ST Act. It also said a preliminary inquiry must be conducted by police within seven days of an alleged incident before taking any action.
The Centre, Dalit activists as well as several opposition parties – including the Congress and the RJD – came out against the SC’s ruling, which they said dilutes the SC/ST Act and might lead to an increase in violence against Dalits.
The Centre’s petition was filed even as several organisations, with the support of some political parties, called a countrywide bandh today in protest against the SC order.
Four people were killed today in Madhya Pradesh as violence broke out in several parts of the country due to anger over a Supreme Court ruling on atrocities against Dalit.
A ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by several organisations today, and supported by some political parties, saw security forces clashing with protesters with reports of vandalism, stone-pelting and firing by police in not just Madhya Pradesh but also in the states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.