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Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje today ordered immediate withdrawal of a police circular for the implementation of a Supreme Court order on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, saying it was issued without her knowledge.
The March 23 circular issued by Additional Director General of Police (Civil Rights) M L Lathar directed district police chiefs and police commissioners to implement the Supreme Court verdict putting restrictions on the arrest of people under the Act.
I came to know that without my knowledge, some of the state government officers issued the circular which created confusion in the state. I have given directions to home minister and police headquarters to immediately issue a letter of clarification, Raje said in a statement tonight.
She said that the state government was committed to protecting the rights of people belonging to SC/ST communities.
The Supreme Court verdict of March 20 drew widespread protest. Some Dalit groups called a Bharat Bandh on April 2 during which at least 12 people were killed in the violence.
The central government had on April 2 filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against its verdict that laid down stringent "safeguards" before registering a case under the Act.
The chief minister said that the state government supported the review petition by the central government in the Supreme Court. The state's additional advocate general in New Delhi has been directed for making the state a party in the review petition.
He said that while the Centre filed review petition in the Supreme Court to revoke the changes in the Act, BJP-ruled state governments were implementing the Supreme Court's March 20 verdict. "The Centre agrees with the apex court order and has filed the review petition just to mislead people," he said in a statement.
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