Cabinet nod for bill to restore provisions of Dalit safety law

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New Delhi: The Union Cabinet gave its nod to a bill to restore the original provisions of a law on atrocities against Dalits and tribals on Wednesday, acceding to a key demand of Dalit groups ahead of their call for a 'Bharat bandh' on August 9, a top government source said.

The bill to restore the original provisions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act will be brought in Parliament, he said.

The Supreme Court in a ruling in March had introduced safeguards which, Dalit leaders and organisations said, diluted the Act and rendered it toothless.

BJP ally and Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan had led the call to bring a new law to overturn the court order. Several ruling party MPs belonging to Dalit and tribal communities had also backed the demand.

Various Dalit and tribal groups have called for a 'Bharat bandh' on August 9 to press their demands, including restoration of the Act. They have said a Supreme Court order in March weakened the law.

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