BSP leader arrested for violence during Dalit protests in UP, police says he was the main conspirator

The widespread violence that has erupted after several Dalit organisations called for a Bharat bandh today on April 2nd has been turning uglier by the hour. There have been reports of rampant damage to properties and vandalism from many states of the country.

In Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, more than 200 violent protestors have been detained by the police. The violent mob reportedly attacked the district collectorate and vandalised the office buildings. Police had to initiate lathi charge to curb the violence.

According to reports, BSP former MLA Yogesh Verma has been arrested by the police. Meerut SSP Manzil Saini stated that he was the main conspirator behind the violence and he has been arrested.

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The SSP also added that no serious injuries have been reported and the police will proceed to put criminal charges on the people arrested.

The Bharat Bandh was called by Dalit organisations to protest against the Supreme Court order which proposed corrections to the existing SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court which was examining the need of safeguards in the existing laws to prevent its misuse had earlier issued directions to prevent automatic arrests without preliminary investigations and the chance to get anticipatory bail in cases where there is lack of prima facie evidence.

The central government has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court regarding the said order. Home Minister Rajnath Singh today appealed to all political parties to maintain peace and not incite violence.

So far, the violence has claimed 4 lives in Madhya Pradesh and several people and police personnel have been injured. The CBSE board examinations have been postponed in the state of Punjab and several trains have been cancelled.

As per latest reports, the Supreme Court of India has declined any urgent hearing on the review petition filed by the government against the order.

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