New Delhi, Aug 31, 2018 : Outrage over the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, commonly known as the SC/ST Act, has sparked protests by the upper-caste community in many districts of Bihar.
Protesters have come onto the streets in Gaya, Begusarai, Nalanda and Barh districts and are clashing with the police.
In Gaya, protesters attacked the police which had come to clear traffic on the road. Reports of stone pelting have also come from some places. Agitators from upper caste communities are sloganeering against the government and the SC/ST Act.
The protesters have also gotten the Manpur Bazaar in Gaya shut. The police have launched an investigation against the protesters who are blocking the roads and have also hit out at them with a lathicharge.
In Begusarai, the protesters have blocked the Kali Sthan Chowk, Hemra Chowk and the Mohanpur-Rajora roads and have stopped the movement of vehicles. The angry crowd are protesting by burning tires. People have also expressed their anger with caste-based reservations and the SC/ST Act in Lakhisarai.
The protests have also caused jams on National Highway 28 and 31.
The protest has been called by an upper-caste group, the Bhumihar Brahman Ekta Manch. They are demanding for reservations based on economic status.
In Barh, the demonstrators have resorted to arson to protest. Roads in the region have been blocked with traffic for many hours. Many school buses are stuck in the jam.
Earlier this month, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said that no one can take away the rights of those belonging to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes nor can the reservation be abolished.
"No one can take away the rights of the people belonging to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes nor can anyone dare to abolish reservation. We are ready for any sacrifice for protecting their rights and reservation if anyone tries to snatch them," Kumar had said.
On a Supreme Court order diluting the provisions of the SC/ST Act, Kumar had said there was no need to get perturbed over it as the Centre was bringing an amendment bill (to restore the original provisions of the Act) in this regard.