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Ambedkar Jayanti: Security tightened across country, parties plan separate events in Uttar Pradesh

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asked all the states to ensure security during Ambedkar Jayanti and check any possible attempt to incite violence.

Reported by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: April 14, 2018 6:26 IST ]
Representational image
Image Source : PTI

Representational image

Security has been tightened across the country in view of Ambedkar Jayanti on Saturday to prevent any possible attempt at inciting violence, with political parties drawing up separate plans for the occasion.

This comes as the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asked all the states to ensure security during Ambedkar Jayanti and check any possible attempt to incite violence.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had also said that districts magistrates and superintendents of police should ensure peace and check violence in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

The MHA missive came in the wake of massive violence in different parts of the country during the April 2 Bharat Bandh by Dalit groups, leading to the death of about a dozen people.

Meanwhile, PM Modi will dedicate to the nation the Bhanupratappur-Gudum Railway Line via video conference on Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar's 127th birth anniversary on Saturday.

PM Modi to visit Chhattisgarh on Ambedkar Jayanti

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti on April 14, an official release said on Friday.

The release said that the Prime Minister will dedicate to the nation the Bhanupratappur-Gudum Railway Line via video conference on Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar's 127th birth anniversary.

He will flag off a train between Dalli Rajhara and Bhanupratappur. He will also inaugurate a dialysis centre at Bijapur Hospital and inaugurate a Health and Wellness Centre, which will mark the launch of the Union government's ambitious Health Assurance Programme Ayushman Bharat.

He will also launch the Van Dhan Yojana which aims at empowering tribal communities.

The Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone for the construction of 1,988 km of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) roads in Left Wing Extremism areas; other road connectivity projects in LWE areas, water supply scheme of Bijapur and two bridges. 

"Heavy security arrangements are in place for the PM's visit, with 4,000 police personnel deployed in the area. Around 500 CCTVs and multiple checking points for the participants in the rally have been installed," said Dantewada Superintendent of Police Kamlochan Kashyap.

Parties plan separate events in UP

Districts magistrates and superintendents of police, specifically in Uttar Pradesh have been asked to ensure peace and check any violence in their respective areas of jurisdiction. 

District authorities have been directed by the home department to intensify patrolling to ensure that no loss of life and property takes place and clamp prohibitory orders wherever necessary, an official spokesperson said.

Seeking to take the wind out of opposition parties' sails ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP is planning to hold grand events to mark the birth anniversary of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar across the state.

They are also planning to honour Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath with the title of "Dalit Mitra".

"Party workers will take out padayatras in the districts to mark the birth anniversary of the architect of the Constitution," said Kaushal Kishore, BJP MP from Mohanlalganj in Lucknow, who is also the state president of UP BJP's SC Morcha.

After its new found bonhomie with the BSP won it two Lok Sabha seats in recent bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party is set to celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti in a big way, taking their friendship a step forward.

The SP, which had stayed content with celebrating anniversaries of socialist idealogues like Ram Manohar Lohia and Janeshwar Misra so far, has asked all its district units to celebrate the occasion at the district party headquarters or any public place to mark the day.

This would be perhaps for the first time that a conscious effort was being made by the SP to ensure celebrations on Ambedkar Jayanti on a big scale.

The BSP has been organising Ambedkar Jayanti annually on a grand scale with its chief Mayawati leading partymen in paying homage to the Dalit icon.

A senior SP leader on condition of anonymity said that party would try to remove doubts, if any, from the minds of people that its ideology was at variance with that of BSP and reach out to all sections of society.

The understanding between the SP and the BSP in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bye-elections stopped the victory march of the BJP, which along with its allies had bagged 73 of the 80 parliamentary seats in the state.

The Ambedkar Mahasabha has announced to confer 'Dalit Mitra' award (Friend of Dalits) on Adityanath at a time of growing debate over "rising incidents of atrocities" against Dalits, against which the opposition parties have raised their voice.

ALSO READ| Home Ministry issues third security alert in fortnight, asks states to ensure security during Ambedkar Jayanti

Hitting out at political parties for politicising Ambedkar's legacy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this month said that no regime had honoured the Dalit icon like his government had.

His remarks had come close on the heels of widespread violent protests over a Supreme Court verdict putting in place "safeguards" to prevent the misuse of a law to prevent atrocities against SCs and STs.

Meanwhile, in Muzaffarnagar, Superintendent of Police Ombir Singh said security was tightened keeping in view the violence that had broken out during the protests by Dalit groups on April 2 against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

More than 40 cases were registered in the district in connection with the violence.

Prohibitory orders were in place and any procession would be allowed only after getting permission from the district authorities, he said.

Two Ambedkar statues vandalised

Just a day before the 127th birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar, two statues of the Dalit icon were vandalised in Haryana's Ambala and Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh.

Officials in Jaunpur said the two-feet statue of the Dalit leader was taken off the pedestal on which it had been installed. As a result, his legs came off while the shoes of the statue remained stuck to the brick-concrete pedestal.

The police said they were looking for the miscreants behind the act.

Over half-a-dozen incidents of Ambedkar's statues being vandalised have taken place in various parts of the state over the last one month.

Only a day ago, the police had sounded an alert across Uttar Pradesh for possible attempts to damage the statues of the Dalit stalwart and the chief architect of India's constitution ahead of his birth anniversary on April 14.

Ambedkar's statues were vandalised in Meerut, Budayun, Saharanpur, Firozabad and Bulandshahr in March, triggering angry protests from the opposition Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party.

(With agency inputs)

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