6 killed in MP as Dalit protesters turn violent

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Bhopal, April 2 (IANS) At least six persons were killed and many others injured while train services were affected on Delhi-Mumbai route as violence erupted at different places in Madhya Pradesh on Monday during protests by Dalits over a Supreme Court order.

Curfew was imposed in many parts of the state and Internet services suspended. The maximum violence was witnessed in Gwalior, Morena and Bhind.

Gwalior Collector Rahul Jain confirmed the death of two persons in Gwalior city and one in Dabra township. Jain said that all three deaths were due to clashes between protesters and police was not involved.

There was widespread vandalisation of vehicles and several incidents of arson in Gwalior and curfew has been imposed in three police station areas.

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He said at least 65 persons have been injured in violence, including policemen, and the condition of a few injured is said to be serious.

Chambal zone’s Inspector General of Police Santosh Singh told IANS: “Two persons were killed in Bhind while one died in Morena. The cause of death was not known.”

The IGP said that curfew has been imposed in five localities of Bhind and Morena town and authorities are keeping an eye on the situation.

In Morena, protesters also blocked the rail tracks keeping the Chattisgarh Express stuck for several hours while traffic on the busy Delhi-Mumbai route was also affected.

Trains coming from Mumbai were stopped before Gwalior and trains coming from Delhi stopped before Agra and other places.

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The state’s major cities like Bhopal and Indore witnessed violence, with trains stopped at many places.

In state capital Bhopal, a large number of protesters rallied at a crossroad, following which police baton-charged the protesters to disperse them but failed.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan appealed for calm.

“The Union government has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court. Our government is committed to protecting the rights of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. People should maintain peace,” Chouhan said.

The protests are part of a ‘Bharat bandh’ called by Dalit organisations against the Supreme Court’s March 20 order that diluted The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

–IANS

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