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Bharat bandh: Mamata Banerjee appeals for peace as protests against dilution of Atrocities Act see violence

Kolkata: Expressing concern over violence that gripped parts of India amid Dalit groups' protest against a Supreme Court order on the SC/ST Act, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday appealed for peace while extending her support of their cause.

"We are shocked and pained that some of my Dalit brothers and sisters have been killed and injured. We support their cause. I appeal for peace," Banerjee said in a tweet.

Protesters clashed with police in Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Odisha — states where normal life was paralyzed in varying degrees amid incidences of violence and arson.

Clashes turned deadly in Madhya Pradesh where three persons were killed and dozens injured, forcing authorities to impose curfew at many places.

The Central government, in a bid to pacify the agitated Dalits, said it had filed a petition in the apex court seeking a review of its 20 March order that bars automatic arrest and registration of cases for alleged harassment of Dalits and others.

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