Politics in Madhya Pradesh is getting shriller with every passing day as the state approaches the Assembly elections scheduled to be held by the end of this year.
The members of the upper caste community, belonging to Parashuram Sena, Kashatriya Mahasabha, Karani Sena and other outfits, on Tuesday took to the streets against the recent amendments in the SC/ST Act that was passed by the Parliament last month.
Government won't dilute SC/ST Act, may bring ordinance to uphold rights of Dalits: Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan
In a display of power, protesters belonging to the upper caste community took out a bike rally in Gwalior on Tuesday.
The protesters also raised slogans against the BJP government headed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
The protesters warned that now they will turn this issue into a movement.
Asking the government to take appropriate action in this matter at the earliest, the upper caste outfits gave a call for “Bharat Bandh” on September 6.
In view of the proposed bandh, the administration has imposed prohibitive orders under CrPC in four districts- Morena, Shivpuri and Bhind, all three in Gwalior-Chambal region, as well as in Ashok Nagar district.
Watch: Upper caste outfits call for ‘Bharat bandh’ on September 6
Meanwhile, BJP MP Riti Pathak lost her cool when a mob protesting against the amendment in SC/ST Act surrounded her in Shahdol and tried to explain their position.
The Sidhi MP got infuriated and asked them to behead her using a sword, if they so wished.
Gwalior-Chambal region, one of the sensitive areas, had witnessed a large-scale violence on April 2 this year during the 'bharat bandh' called by SC groups.
Makrand Deuskar, Inspector General of Police (Intelligence) told reporters today, "Police headquarters have alerted all the superintendents of police in view of proposed bandh on September 6."
He said the police force allotted to the districts on the occasion of Krishna Janmashtami yesterday, would continue to remain deployed.
Madhya Pradesh has witnessed protests against the ruling party leaders at various places in the past few days.
"In view of proposed Bharat Bandh on September 6, the prohibitive orders under CrPC section 144 have been imposed in the district," Bhind District Collector Ashish Gupta said in a press note.
"It is necessary to impose section 144 this time as the law and order situation in the district was disturbed on April 2 this year when some organisations had given the call of 'Bharat bandh'," he said.
The collectors in Shivpuri and Morena districts have also imposed prohibitive orders under CrPC section 144.
Brahma Samagam Sawarna Jankalyan Sangathan's national president Dharmendra Sharma said that about 150 organisations of upper castes and OBCs would participate in the Bharat bandh against the amendments in SC/ST Act.
"We will protest peacefully on September 6. Through this protest, we will demand withdrawal of this black law. All the sections except SC/ST are affected due to this amendment. We will also write letters to all MPs of the country," Sharma said.
Former Union Minister and senior BJP OBC leader Prahlad Patel expressed his displasure over the protests.
"The role of people from the OBC community has become all the more important in this scenario. For centuries, the OBCs have been acted as a bridge between upper castes and scheduled castes and they will continue to play this role actively in future," he said.
Protests have been going on against the amendments in SC/ST Bill in parts of the state since the past one week.
The protesters staged a demonstration outside the bungalows of Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar at Gwalior and Member of Parliament (MP) Bhagirath Prasad at Bhind. The protesters also staged a demonstration at Higher Education Minister Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya's bungalow at Gwalior.
The protesters also showed black flags to Union ministers Thawar Chand Gehlot and M J Akbar at Guna and Vidisha respectively. Several other protests were also organised across the state.
Earlier this year, the apex court had removed the strict provision of mandatory arrests under the Act. This decision had triggered nationwide protests by Scheduled Castes organisations, forcing the Centre to bring an amendment to the Act during the Monsoon Session to overrule the SC order.
(With PTI inputs)