Security was heightened in various parts of Madhya Pradesh in view of Bharat Bandh announced by several minority rights organisations against amendments in the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act on Thursday. “Forces have been divided judiciously across districts in Bhopal. It has been peaceful until now. Nobody can force anyone to be a part of the bandh,” police said. A high alert has been issued in 35 districts across the state in the wake of the bandh. As many as 34 companies of security forces and 5,000 security personnel have been deployed in various districts. Section 144 has also been imposed in several districts of the state while drones are also being used for surveillance in Gwalior. All schools and colleges in Gwalior also remained closed.
Speaking to ANI, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Narottam Bhargavi said, “Lot of security forces deployed. We are fully ready to face any kind of situation. Section 144 imposed at several places. It is very peaceful at present.” About 35 organisations have called for a bandh in the state. The government has imposed Section 144 in Satna, Bhind, Shivpuri, Gwalior and other districts. Meanwhile, protests are also underway at various other places in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar. The Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018 was passed in Lok Sabha on August 6. The Congress has alleged that the Centre passed the Bill keeping in mind 2019 Lok Sabha elections.