In view of Ambedkar Jayanti on 14 April, Madhya Pradesh intelligence agencies have sounded a high alert in Gwalior-Chambal region where 8 persons were killed and hundreds injured in violent clashes during the Bharat bandh called by Dalit organisations on 2 April against the alleged dilution in the SC/ST (Prevention and Atrocities) Act, 1989, by the Supreme Court. Sagar division is also on alert.
In order to avoid any tension on Ambedkar Jayanti and Parusram Jayanti (on 18 April), Section 144 of CrPC will continue to be in force till 20 April. In Morena and Bhind districts of the region, curfew is being imposed from time to time.
Additional paramilitary and state police forces have been stationed in the area till 20 April.
Peace committees have been activated by the district administration and police to ensure social harmony. “We are appealing to people to celebrate Babasaheb’s birth anniversary as ‘Social Harmony Day’ to maintain peace in the area,” B M Sharma, Divisional Commissioner of Gwalior, told The Statesman.
“The administration has made arrangements for people of different communities to pay tribute at Babasaheb’s statue but not in groups,” Sharma added.
Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence), S M Afzal, has been stationed in the region to keep a lookout for any unlawful activity.
The people of the Chambal region are fond of guns. The maximum number of arms licences are granted in this area of the state. As a precautionary measures, around 25,000 arms licences have been suspended in sensitive areas of the region. The arms are being deposited in related police stations.
“Permission for conducting any procession is not being issued till 20 April as Section 144 is in force in the district,” said Rahul Jain, collector of Gwalior.
The Dalit agitation is related to the larger demographic and sociological backdrop of the region.Out of 15.2 per cent scheduled caste population in Madhya Pradesh, the highest concentration is in the Chambal region.
“Extra armed forces have been deployed in the district to deal with any untoward situation, we are appealing to citizens to maintain peace through peace committees and other media,” Illaya Raja T, collector of Bhind, told The Statesman.
Police personnel have been deployed to ensure the security of Babasaheb’s statue situated in Ambedkar Park at Phool Bag in Gwalior.