NEW DELHI:  Protests that swept north India have cost at least seven lives today as Dalit groups tried to enforce an all-India shutdown over a Supreme Court order.

In Madhya Pradesh, five people died during clashes, while one each was killed in in Rajasthan's Alwar and Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar. Violence was also reported from parts of Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and UP. Punjab came to a standstill as the government put the army on stand-by and transport off the roads. The Dalits are protesting against a Supreme Court order, which, they say, dilutes a law meant to protect the community. The centre has asked the Supreme Court to review the order.


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