A day after violent protests by Dalits, several members of other castes today hit the streets in Rajasthan over the damage caused yesterday, Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said. In Alwar district, where one man was killed, people held a sit-in protest, refusing to cremate the body.
“After the Dalit protests in the state, people of other castes are protesting in some parts of Rajasthan,” Kataria said.
According to the police, tension prevailed in Hindaun City, Churu and Gangapur City where law-and-order situation remained “critical”. “Traders association and upper castes are agitated in Hindaun City. They took out a procession today and tried to enter the SC/ST dominated areas,” Additional Director General (law and order) NRK Reddy said.
“Police forces lobbed tear gas shells and resorted to cane charging and firing rubber bullets to disperse the mob,” Reddy said.
Curfew was clamped in Gangapur City last night. “Situation is under control now in Gangapur City. The curfew was lifted this morning,” Swai Madhopur District Collector KC Verma said.
One person was killed, several vehicles gutted, and public property damaged during the Dalit protests yesterday. Reddy said the estimate of property damage and vehicle torching figures in the violence are yet to be estimated.
The Dalit groups had called for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on yesterday demanding restoration of the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in its original form.
The Supreme Court had, on March 20, ‘diluted’ certain provisions of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, in a bid to protect honest public servants discharging bona fide duties from being blackmailed with false cases under the Act.