Normal life hit in Bihar; Assembly adjourned
Patna: Normal life was affected on Monday in Bihar following widespread disruptions in rail and road traffic, forced closure of offices and vandalism of property, as part of the 'Bharat Bandh' called by Dalit and tribal organisations against dilution of the SC/ST Act.
The issue also rocked the state Assembly, which was adjourned till lunch break within minutes of commencement of proceedings.
MLAs from the opposition parties as well as some from the ruling side, demanded that a resolution be passed by the House urging the Centre to take adequate measures to undo the recent Supreme Court order on arrests under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
As soon as Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary took the chair, deputy leader of the ruling JD(U) Shyam Rajak rose to say, The SC/ST Act was aimed at preventing atrocities against the vulnerable sections of the society. Dilution of this Act by the Supreme Court has scared the affected communities .
Rajak suggested that a resolution be passed urging the parliament to make the Act unassailable by placing it in the 9th schedule of the constitution.
He added that the review petition filed by the Centre was just an "eyewash" and that such patchwork was not going to protect the interests of the SCs/STs.
Opposition RJD MLAs also raised an uproar on the matter in the House.
Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Yadav said the state Assembly must stand in solidarity with the organisers of the Bharat Bandh.
"This House should pass a resolution urging the Centre to bring an ordinance that could provide an immediate relief to the affected social groups, he said.
As the bedlam erupted again, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm.
Meanwhile, large-scale protests were witnessed in various parts of the state as part of the Bharat Bandh.
According to police sources, the bandh supporters stormed the Patna Junction where they forced closure of ticket booking counters and squatted on railway tracks, disrupting movement of a number of trains.