Dalit org calls off Bharat Bandh

Dalit org calls off Bharat Bandh

Dalit organisations have called off Friday's 'Bharat Bandh' citing government passing the amendments to the SC/ST Act to undo strictures by Supreme Court but will support an All India Kisan Sabha-led protest programme across the country.


This was announced by Ashok Bharti, the chairman of All India Ambedkar Mahasabha (AIAM), a grouping of Dalit organisations, here on Thursday. Bharti's call on April 2 against the Supreme Court order that stipulated that those accused in SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities) Act should be arrested only after a preliminary enquiry, which was seen as a dilution of the Act by Dalits and several political parties.

"The government was rattled by our call for a Bharat Bandh. That is why they have agreed to bring in the amendments," Bharti told reporters.

He said the AIAM has taken a "positive note" of the government fulfilling their "major demand". "We do not believe in unnecessary confrontation and wants our demands to be met. So, we have decided to give reasonable time to the government to look into the other demands and accept the same in the interest of more than 300 million citizens belonging to the SC/STs across the country," Bharti added.

The AIAM thanked political leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, H D Deve Gowda, Sharad Yadav, Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, V M Singh and their parties for supporting their struggle.

Bharti said they will support the Kisan Sabha's 'jail bharao' agitation against the farm distress under NDA government. "While AIAM has decided to postpone the Bharat Bandh, the other actions across the country pertaining to the August 9 agitation that have been planned by the Dalits and Adivasis, Kisan and ex-servicemen would continue as scheduled," he said.