Amid Bharat Bandh call on Tuesday, states across the country have stepped up security with some imposing Section-144 in certain areas to avoid violence, clashes and untoward incidents.
This comes 8 days after the country witnessed Bharat Bandh by Dalit groups against the alleged dilution of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by a Supreme Court order, which had led to violence and arson in many parts of the country. It had claimed several lives and left hundreds of civilians and policemen injured.
While the April 2 Bharat Bandh was called by groups opposing the alleged dilution of SC/ST (prevention of of atrocities) Act by the top court order, the protest on April 10 is being reportedly called by people opposed to caste-based reservations in jobs and education.
The messages about an all-India strike were being widely shared on WhatsApp with no group accepting responsibility for the bandh call.
Battling security concerns after the recent violence, the Union Home Ministry on Monday asked all the state governments to be extra vigilant to avoid any violence and loss of life and property amid calls on social media for the nationwide shutdown.
The ministry particularly asked the state governments to make the District Magistrates and the district police chiefs "personally responsible" for the law and order situations in their areas of jurisdiction, sources said on Monday.
"States have been asked to intensify patrolling in all sensitive locations, so as to prevent any loss of life or damage to property," the advisory said.
The advisory stressed that district magistrates and superintendents of police be made personally responsible for ensuring that law and order situation remains firmly under control in their jurisdiction.
Acting upon the MHA advisory, many states took precautionary measures and also imposed section-144 in violence-prone areas. Internet services are also likely to take a hit in certain regions.
Police patrolling in Alwar after a call for #BharatBandh tomorrow. MHA had issued an advisory that some groups would be protesting against caste-based reservations in jobs and education. #Rajasthan pic.twitter.com/ePKlaupY32— ANI (@ANI) April 9, 2018
Security tightened in Bhopal after a call for #BharatBandh tomorrow. MHA had issued an advisory that some groups would be protesting against caste-based reservations in jobs and education. #MadhyaPradesh pic.twitter.com/EGeyAYK4uM— ANI (@ANI) April 9, 2018
"Section 144 to be imposed in Bhopal on Tuesday. Schools to remain open. 6000 police forces will be deployed. Police department to keep a tab on social media, action will be taken against rumour-mongers," Bhopal commissioner Ajatshatru Shrivastava said.
From suspension of internet services to holding of processions, different states will see separate restrictions imposed as part of measures to maintain peace.
"Section 144 will be imposed in Jaipur on Tuesday. No procession or dharna is allowed. Action will be taken if someone is found to be indulged in the same. Adequate security forces have been deployed," Commissioner of Jaipur Police Sanjay Aggarwal told the media.
Meanwhile, schools in some parts are also expected to remain closed in view of security concerns.
In Firozabad, classes from Std 1 to Std 9 in all schools have been called off for Tuesday. Hapur has already suspended internet services from 6 pm onwards on Monday, effective till 6 PM on Tuesday.
Section 144 has also been imposed in Nainital region in Uttarakhand. District administration has also put a complete ban on processions and dharnas on Tuesday, warning of strict action against law breakers.
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