Many parts of the country has witnessed today the protest by many Dalit organizations against the Supreme Court decision that if no prima facie charges are made against the suspect, then anticipatory bail must be granted.
This is because the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Prevention Act, 1989, allows an immediate arrest and action for the complain of any atrocity against the Dalits. According to the Act the offender had to be denied the anticipatory bail.
Due to this agitation 9 people have been already dead including 4 in Madhya Pradesh and one in Rajasthan and at many places properties have been damaged and destroyed. Violence has hit many parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand etc.
Incidents have been reported from many parts of the country about the clashes and vandalism of government and public properties. In the state of Bihar, Dalit youths armed with swords and other deadly weapons were found destroying private vehicles and shops.
The Centre, however, has asked to review the order made by the Supreme Court. But the damage has been done.
The Dalits think that the dilution in this Act will make them more vulnerable and the court must restore the original Act. This is what the protest is all about.
After humongous brainstorming the Centre has filed a 150-page review petition in the Supreme Court to review the court’s judgment.
We have often heard about the atrocities against the Dalits in the past and even in today’s society this keeps continuing. But definitely no one has the right to go against the law and what happened today is really shameful. Every political party knew about the protest but none of the party or politician came forward and tried to tackle the situation peacefully beforehand. Sadly, our politicians are interested in debating on national channels rather than working on the ground. As usual we will see the blame game again during the prime time and after couple of days this news will be forgotten and a new one will crop up.
A review is needed not only for the Act but for the system as well.