Lucknow, Sep 6: The "Bharat Bandh" call given by 22 organisation of the upper caste against protesting against the SC/ST Amendment Bill passed in Parliament last month, evoked mixed response in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.
Though in several places markets were closed and bandh supporters hold protest and organised marches, but life was normal with school and officer functioning smoothly and traffic not affected. However a report from Agra said that the bandh protesters stopped the Etawah bound DEMU passengers at Agra Cantonment station.
In Lucknow, most of the markets were closed and the bandh supporters hold protest at the GPO demanding withdrawal of the new amended law. In Auriyya too, bandh supporters forced the traders to close their shops while in Meerut police patrolling has been intensified following reports of large scale demonstration during the day.
The bandh supporters under the banner of Sarvajan Hitaya Sankrashan Samiti, has also called a big conference in Lucknow on September 28. UP government has issued alert in 11 districts of the state including Lucknow where they have apprehension of violence during the bandh. Mathura and Meerut are the most sensitive areas.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and order) Anand Kumar said here on Thursday that the bandh was observed peacefully with no report of any untoward incident. "We have asked the districts to take strict action against the people engaged in any unlawful act," he said.
Last month Parliament passed the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018. The amendments were incorporated to bypass the recent ruling of the Supreme Court laying down the procedures for arrests under the Act.
The Bill inserted a section in the 1989 Act, that says a “preliminary enquiry shall not be required for registration of an FIR against any person.” The Bill also inserted another section which says “the investigating officer shall not require approval for the arrest, if necessary, of any person against whom an accusation of having committed an offence under this Act has been made and no procedure, other than that provided under this Act or the Code, shall apply.” UNI