Odishatv Bureau

Rourkela/Malkangiri: Vehicular traffic was affected in several places of the State including Bhubaneswar, Rourkela, Sambalpur and tribal-dominated districts as Dalit organisations have been observing the 'Bharat Bandh' protesting dilution of Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act provisions.

Buses have also remained off-roads in Biramitrapur, Malkangiri, Kalahandi and Bolangir. Besides, shops and markets were shut in Malkangiri in the wake of the bandh call.

Adivasi Dalit Sena staged a rail roko at Khetrajpur station in Sambalpur following which Sambalpur-Puri and Sambalpur-Rayagada trains were halted at the station.

The Adhikar Surakhya Manch, Adivasi Mulabasi Bancaho Manch and the JMM have extended their support to the 'Bharat Bandh' call.

Members of different Dalit organisations also staged road blockade near Vani Vihar, Jayadev Vihar and Acharya Vihar in Bhubaneswar.

On the other hand, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram said, "There was no need of such a bandh, the government informed nearly 10 days back that it will file a review petition in the Supreme Court on the apex court's judgement on SC/ST Protection Act. The 'Bharat Bandh' is an attempt to gain political mileage."

Earlier today, the Central government filed a review petition in the Supreme Court on the judgement that ruled that there would be no automatic arrest of an accused following a complaint moved under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Also read: Centre urges SC for review of judgment regarding SC/ST Act