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SC/ST Act issue: Schools, bus services to remain shut in Punjab in view of bandh call

By Deepika
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    Punjab Government has announced that educational institutions will remain closed on Monday in view of a countrywide strike against the Supreme Court's order diluting the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

    Amarinder Singh

    CBSE Board Examinations postponed

    CBSE Board Examinations for Class X and XII, which were scheduled for Monday, have been postponed as a result of the bandh call. 

    Education institutions to remain shut

    According to an order by the DPI (Colleges), all "government colleges, government-aided colleges, private colleges, government and private universities", will remain closed tomorrow in view of the proposed bandh.

    Likewise, all government, non-government/private, aided and recognized schools would also remain shut tomorrow.

    The final practical examinations of classes 10 and 12 of the Punjab School Education Board will be conducted on April 11 instead of April 2, according to the directions of the Education Department.

    Public transport to stay off the road

    All public and private transport will stay off the road during the bandh to prevent any untoward incident.

    Buses run by the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), Punjab Roadways, PunBus, and private operators would remain off the road during the bandh.

    Internet services suspended, Banks to remain closed

    Mobile Internet services in the state will remain suspended from 5 pm today till 11 pm tomorrow in a bid to check rumor mongering on social media. All Banks in the state will remain closed.

    Security tightened

    The orders were issued after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh reviewed the security arrangements with top police and administration officials in the evening.

    It was followed by a video conference involving the Chief Secretary, deputy commissioners and other senior officials of all districts, the spokesperson said in a statement.

    Security forces conducted flag marches at some places in the state today as a precautionary measure.

    Elaborating on the precautionary measures taken by the government, the spokesperson said four battalions each of the Rapid Action Force and the Border Security Force, and 12,000 additional police personnel will remain on duty tomorrow to maintain law and order.

    Army on stand-by

    Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Secy Karan A Singh wrote to Secr Dept of Defence, GoI stating 'Army in Punjab to remain ready for any eventuality as state govt may need their assistance in maintaining law & order' during bandh.

    The armed forces and the paramilitary will be on standby to render any assistance as needed, the spokesperson said, adding that the chief minister had directed the police to crackdown on anyone found trying to disrupt peace and harmony.

    Bandh to protest Supreme Court ruling on SC/ST Act

    Dalit organisations have called for a countrywide bandh on Monday to protest the court's March 20 verdict that protects public servants from arbitrary arrests under the Act.

    Chief Minister Amarinder Singh appeals to protesters

    Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh appealed to the community and other people of the state to keep restraint and maintain law and order.

    In a statement issued on Saturday, he said that the Punjab government was seized with the situation arising out of the dilution of the Act. He said that the protest should be done in a peaceful manner and nothing should be done to endanger the peace and communal harmony in the state.

    A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court took note of the rampant misuse of the stringent Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against government servants and held that there shall be no immediate arrest on any complaint filed under the law.

    SC bats for a preliminary probe

    Before arresting a public servant under the Act, a preliminary probe by an officer not below the rank of deputy superintendent is a must, the court said.

    The decision was taken by the Supreme Court while hearing a petition filed by the Maharashtra government.

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