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Thousands on Protest: Dalit & Tribal Orgs Out on Streets Today Against Modi Government

They are demanding promulgation of two ordinances — one against the SC order of eviction of forest dwellers, and one to restore the 200-point UGC roster system.

Organisations working for the rights of tribals and Dalits have reportedly called for a Bharat Bandh on Tuesday, March 5. In Delhi, the protestors will march from Mandi House to Parliament Street, demanding promulgation of two ordinances, the first to secure the forest rights of tribals who face the threat of eviction after a recent order by the apex court, and another to guarantee fair representation of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in UGC faculty posts.

Per an Indian Express report, the protest has come in the wake of the Supreme Court order evict tribal people from forest land, whose claims forest land were rejected under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. Even though the order has been temporarily stayed, the tribals are dismayed and believe that unless an ordinance is passed, the threat of their eviction from forest lands is looming large. Omprakash of Adivasi Adhikar Andolan which  is organising the protests in Madhya Pradesh, told IE, “We were always assured that everyone will be given pattas for the land they occupy but that was never done. Now the government wants to take away our land.”

Bharat bandh

The report adds that the protesting groups are also demanded that the government must ensure inclusion of SCs, STs, OBCs, minorities and women in higher judiciary posts. This, claim the protestors, can be ascertained if the government establishes the Indian Judicial Services under Article 312 of the Constitution.

Also Read:  Supreme Court Orders Eviction of More Than One Milion Tribals, Forest Dwellers

Several Bahujan groups will participate in the protests, along with professors of University of Delhi. These groups are gathering especially in view of the Supreme Court’s recent dismissal of a review petition on a 13-point roster system. Their demand is for an ordinance that will overturn the 13-point roster for department-wise recruitment system in universities, and in its place implement a 200-point roster. In addition, per an NDTV report, they will also appeal to the government to fill close to 24 lakh vacant posts in universities, and take back cases filed under the National Security Act (NSA) against Bandh supporters last year on April 2.

Per a report by NDTV,  Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) [CPI-(ML)] have also decided to extend support to the agitation. Post the daylong bandh, the groups will file petitions, and submit their demands to district administrations at the local level, and to the President and the Prime Minister in Delhi.

Also Read:  Undo BJP’s Dilution of Land Acquisition Act, Safeguard Rights of Tribals Under Forest Rights Act: Rahul Gandhi Writes to Congress CMs

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