On Saturday morning, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Giriraj Jatav was arrested by the police on charges of inciting violence in Bhind, Madhya Pradesh, during Bharat bandh protests held on April 2. The arrest of BJP leader came in after the Muzaffarnagar police had arrested Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Kamal Gupta from his house for allegedly inciting violence in the area during Bharat Bandh protests held on April 2. BSP president Gupta has been charged with provoking the supporters that resulted in violence. The protest by several Dalit groups and other organisations were staged over the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Commenting on the matter, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Anant Dev said Kamal Gupta was arrested for inciting a mob of protesters who turned violent and damaged property.

After being detained by the police, Kamal Gupta was produced in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Ritu Nager. The court later sent him to the police custody till April 20. Further disclosing the matter, SSP said that as per proof, Kamal Gupta provided liquor to thousands of party workers. Later, the workers, in an inebriated condition, were incited to forcefully shut shops and create a ruckus. Meanwhile, earlier a reward of Rs 10,000 was declared for information leading to Jatav’s arrest. On April 2, all the Dalit Groups had called for Bharat Bhandh and had launched protests against the recent order by Supreme Court.

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Bharat Bandh protests had turned violent in several places that resulted in the death of at least eight people and massive destruction of government property. Investigating police said BSP’s Kamal Gupta has been arrested in three cases of violence. As per latest reports, more than 40 cases have been registered and more than 80 have been arrested by the police. On April 2, the country witnessed widespread violent protests after Dalits had displayed their agitation over the dilution of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989. During the protest, several police officers deployed to control the situation were also left severely injured.

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