CBSE Exams In Punjab Put Off Today As State Braces For Bharat Bandh "Bharat bandh": Mobile internet has been snapped in Punjab till 11 pm today. Banks and schools will remain shut, and public vehicles will not run

CBSE Exams In Punjab Put Off Today As State Braces For Bharat Bandh  Punjab has rescheduled Class 10 and 12 board exams, which were to be held today, due to security concerns over a nationwide bandh called by some Dalit groups against a recent Supreme Court ruling that they claim goes against the welfare of people bracketed under Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) categories.

“Taking cognisance of the letter of the director general (school education), the CBSE decided to postpone all class 12 and 10 examinations scheduled for April 2, 2018 in the state of Punjab,” the Central Board of Secondary Education or CBSE said in a statement.

“Exams will carry on as per schedule in UT (Union Territory) of Chandigarh and rest of the country,” the CBSE statement said. Chandigarh is the capital of both Punjab and Haryana.

On March 20, the Supreme Court said government officers cannot be arrested without taking permission from their superiors under a law that seeks to protect people who come under the SC/ST categories.

The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 has strict provisions for offences such as forcible tonsuring and imposing social or economic boycott on SC/ST people. Government officers have complained that the stringent law has often been misused against them.

 Punjab, where according to some estimates has 32 per cent ST/SC people, is fast becoming the epicentre of a protest against what some Dalit groups call dilution of the law that is supposed to protect them.

The state government has snapped mobile internet across Punjab till 11 pm today to prevent rumours and fake information, which could spark violence, from spreading, Punjab home secretary Rahul Tiwari said. Banks and schools will remain shut and public vehicles such as buses and taxis will not run.

 The state government has asked the army and paramilitary forces to remain on standby and respond to calls for help if violence breaks out. The bodies of Indians killed by the terror group ISIS in Iraq are reaching Amritsar today, from where they will be taken to their villages. Punjab Chief Minister and Congress leader Amarinder Singh has asked the protesters to allow the convoys to pass. Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh has gone to Iraq to bring the mortal remains of 39 Indians, of which 27 are from Punjab.

Although Amarinder Singh has asked SC/ST people not to protest keeping in mind the inconvenience it may cause to the public, the Dalit groups have gone ahead with their so-called “Bharat bandh” on a day when the central government will also file a petition seeking a review of the Supreme Court order. Dalit groups in parts of Odisha have blocked railway tracks in protest, news agency ANI reported.

“Review petition by the Government against the SC judgement on SC/ST Protection Act shall be filed positively on tomorrow, Monday, April 2,” union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted on Sunday.

Amarinder Singh said the Punjab government stands with the SC/ST people, “which was evident from the fact that the Punjab Vidhan Sabha unanimously adopted a resolution to express solidarity with our SC brethren… seeking the NDA government’s intervention to legally pursue the case…”

(NEWS BY :NDTV April 02, 2018 09:07 IST)

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