06/09/2018 10:47 AM IST | Updated 06/09/2018 11:00 AM IST

Bharat Bandh On SC/ST Act Amendment: Protests Erupt In Bihar, MP And UP

Madhya Pradesh will remain closed Thursday in view of "Bharat Bandh" called to protest the SC/ST Act Amendment.

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REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE. Indian activists hold candles and portraits of 20th century Indian social reformer B. R. Ambedkar as they take part in a protest against a Supreme Court order that allegedly diluted the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in Kolkata on April 4, 2018.

Security has been stepped up, school holiday declared in one district and petrol pumps across Madhya Pradesh will remain closed Thursday in view of 'Bharat Bandh' called by some groups against the amendment to the SC/ST Act.

"We have decided to shut petrol pumps from 10 am to 2 pm tomorrow due to security reasons as some organizations have given a call for bandh," Madhya Pradesh Petrol Pump Owners Association president Ajay Singh told PTI.

Police have tightened security across the state in view of ongoing protests against the amendment to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Inspector General of Police (Intelligence) Makrand Deuskar said orders prohibiting gathering of people in large numbers have been imposed.

"The administration in most of the districts have clamped prohibitive orders under CrPC section 144 in view of the bandh on September 6," he said.

Thirty-four companies of the special armed force of police have been deployed in various districts, he said.

Jabalpur district collector Chhavi Bharadwaj has written to the state home department, seeking suspension of Internet services in the district till 6 pm on Thursday.

District Education Officer in Bhind has ordered that schools in the district will remain closed.

Meanwhile, protests against the amendment to the SC/ST Act continued in the state Wednesday.

Protesters showed black flags to former Union minister and senior BJP leader Prahlad Patel at Tikamgarh when he was addressing the party's OBC workers.

Slogans were shouted by protesters outside the venue of BJP's OBC cell's meeting in Gwalior.

After the Supreme Court diluted the provision of mandatory arrests under the SC/ST Act, sparking protests by Dalit organisations, the Union government brought an amendment in the monsoon session of Parliament to override the apex court's order.

Gwalior-Chambal region, considered a sensitive area, had witnessed large-scale violence on April 2 this year during the Bharat Bandh called by Dalit groups.

Now, upper caste organisations are protesting against the amendment.

Brahma Samagam Sawarna Jankalyan Sangathan's national president Dharmendra Sharma said about 150 organisations of upper castes and OBCs would participate in the Bharat Bandh against the amendment.