Bhopal: The “Bharat bandh” to protest against a recent Supreme Court order on the SC/ST Act today turned violent resulting in the death of six persons -four of them from the reserved SC and two from the unreserved category – in Madhya Pradesh.
In neighbouring Uttar Pradesh one person was killed and nearly 75 persons including 40 policemen were injured in violent protests. Muzaffarnagar, Hapur, Meerut, Agra were the most affected in UP. One person died during violence in Muzaffarnagar. Reports of violence have also come from Rajasthan.
The situation went out of control in several parts of the State despite an appeal to the protesters by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who asked them to maintain order taking the plea that the Centre has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against its recent ruling as regards the SC/ST Act.
Violence spread and went out of control as mobs supporting the bandh and those opposed to it clashed at several places. A sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) and a police officer were injured in the protests in the Gwalior-Chambal division, In view of large scale violence, curfew was imposed in some areas of Gwalior, Bhind and Morena districts. While protesters disrupted rail traffic in Morena by damaging the railway track, protests were also witnessed in the Sagar district headquarters.
First reports of violence in Madhta Pradesh, came from Malanpur in Bhind district near Gwalior soon after 10 am. The protesters were on the streets with sticks and batons and the violent mob went berserk damaging property and vehicles.
According to available information, Vimal Bodh, died of gunshot wounds in Gwalior’s Dabra area, two persons – Rakesh Jatav and Deepak Jatav — were killed in a gunfight in Gwalior’s Thatipura police station area. Another person Akash Jatav, died of gunshots in a clash between two groups in Mehgaon tehsil, 17 km from the Bhind district headquarters. All from the reserved SC category. Mahavir Ragawat (40), from the unreserved Thakur caste, died in the Machand area, about 40 km from the Bhind district headquarters and Rahul Pathak, a Brahmin by caste, was killed in firing at Morena’s station area.
Protesters also looted shops in tribal dominated Jhabua in western Madhya Pradesh. Protests were also witnessed near the B.R. Ambedkar statue the Board office square in the State capital. Protesters were also seen forcibly trying to bring down shutters at several places.