Was the violence in Madhya Pradesh during the 2nd April Dalit protests paid for?

As per reports in Dainik Jagran, miscreants were allegedly paid money, anything between Rs. 200 to Rs. 500 to stage violent protests in Madhya Pradesh during the 2nd April Bharat Bandh call. As per reports, some of the protestors who are detained, are labourers who were paid to carry out violent protests for about two hours. However, it is not yet clear who brought them and paid for the allegedly staged violent protests. According to police, even the ‘protestors’ are not able to identify who brought them to ‘protest’. The miscreants were presented before the court and sent to jail.

As per reports, the planning for ‘staged’ violence was done days before the call of Bharat Bandh was made. It is reported that days before the Bandh call, people in adjoining areas of Gwalior, like Murar and Thatipur, were called and told that the reservation is being withdrawn. A day before the Bandh call, people were gathered and paid money to participate in the rally. According to TI (Town Inspector), Murar, Ajay Pawar, the contractors who work with the labourers said that the labourers did not turn up for work that day since they were paid more elsewhere.

On 2nd April, Dalit organisations called a nationwide Bharat Bandh in order to protest against the Supreme Court order, which had sought to prevent the misuse of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The two-judge bench which was examining whether safeguards could be put in place so that the said act isn’t misused issued the directions which included, there won’t be an absolute bar on getting anticipatory bail if there is no prima facie case. The court also banned automatic arrests and registration of criminal cases under this act.

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The Modi government had filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against this ruling which contends that the order will weaken the provision of this act, which could result in more violence against Dalits.

Despite the Modi government working towards trying to get the stringent procedures restored, a call for Bharat Bandh was issued, which since then has spiralled into incidents of mass violence. Madhya Pradesh was especially hit hard with a mob in Gwalior allegedly firing shots.

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