Led by Valmiki leader Dharamvir Sethi, the protesters burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and gave a call for a strike in Phagwara on April 2 in protest against the dilution of the Act, the police said.
The protesters first assembled at Valmiki Chowk in Bansawala bazaar, the police said, adding that after passing through city bazaars, they converged at National Highway 1.
After holding a demonstration there and raising slogans against the BJP-led NDA government, they set ablaze the prime minister's effigy.
Addressing the protesters, senior Valmiki community leaders Dharamvir Sethi and Satish Salhotra alleged that the Modi government was anti-dalit.
"By letting the provisions of the Act diluted, the Modi government wanted to subject dalits to more atrocities," one of the protesters alleged.
"We will not allow it to happen. We will fight tooth and nail against it. Phagwara will observe complete Bandh on April 2 to protest dilution of SC/ST Act," the protester said.
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.
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.
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