Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar on Monday blamed the Supreme Court’s order for the violence in different parts of the country during the ‘Bharat Bandh’, organised to protest the recent order of the apex court on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
He also criticised the government for failing to handle the case responsibly and warned of an impending “Syria-like situation” in the country.
At a press conference here, Ambedkar said the latest decision of the Supreme Court was contradictory to its own earlier orders. He said a bench of the Supreme Court had earlier said that FIRs, in cases of atrocities on Dalits, must be lodged immediately or else action would be taken against the police officer who failed to do so. “But now the Supreme Court has banned immediate registration of cases under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. So a question arises who will take action against the judges of Supreme Court who pass such contradictory orders. The government should look into it…. The Supreme Court should be held responsible for the violence that has happened today,” said Ambedkar, leader of the Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh.
The Dalit leader said it was not clear which organisations had given the call for ‘Bharat Bandh’ today. “There was a message on social media calling a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on April 2. But the details like the name of the person or organisation that had released this message was not mentioned. So after knowing this, we had made an appeal to the masses and outfits participating in the bandh to maintain peace,” he said.
Ambedkar said he was not sure whether the review petition filed by the government in the Supreme Court against the recent order will stand the test of the law or not. He slammed the government for not handling the issue with sensitivity, and allowing careless statements by some of its functionaries. “Statements regarding changing the Constitution, and withdrawal of reservations for backward castes, made by some persons in the government, has created unrest in the society. The situation is going out of
control… As a result a Syria-like situation may arise in the country,” he said.