NEW DELHI: Dalits activists from across states have called a country-wide bandh on April 2, to protest against the recent Supreme Court judgement on diluting of arrests under the SC\ST Act (1989). A mobilisation of dalits to gherao Parliament, a day before on April 1, has also been planned.
Since the bandh or strikes will be held locally in the states on April 2, the plan is to assemble in Delhi for a symbolic gherao of Parliament even as it is shut on Sunday, April 1, said dalit activist Ashok Bharti. “The next plan of action” to protest against this unfair judgement of the court will be announced from Delhi on April 2, after 5 pm when the day-long strike gets over, he added.
The Dalit mobilization is gathering steam in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, with all Dalit social organisations, employees unions and associations participating in it, said Bharti, adding that the call for the strike was given on March 22, soon after the Supreme Court’s verdict came in.
The Bhim Army Employees in district administrations to municipal corporations have responded to the call for striking work on April 2 and even students, shop owners and all others including non-Dalit people have been appealed to. “But we have made it clear that nobody should resort to violence as we want to remain on the moral course and those who do not want to participate should be left alone,” Bharti told TOI.
Dalit activists from across the country have responded spontaneously to the strike call and the mobilization is rising by the minute whether on social media or on the ground, Bharti said. “I request Ministers & Leaders for supporting #Bharatband against Judgement on SC/STs by SupremeCourt,” read Bharti’s tweet on Thursday.
“Individual political leaders have failed us so it is time for the community to throw up its own million leaders to take this movement forward,” Bharti said.
“Those judges who have decided on against 30 crore people (SCs and STs) in this country without giving them a hearing have no right to continue on their seat… they should be impeached,” will be one of the demands, Bharti said.