BJP ally Lok Jan Shakti has cautioned the government that protests planned by the Dalit groups on August 9 could be sharper and far more aggressive than the April protests. LJP’s Parliamentary Party chairman Chirag Paswan has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to this effect, seeking the removal of Justice A.K. Goyal as the National Green Tribunal chairman.

Justice Goyal was the judge who ruled against the SC/ST Act.

The letter to PM Modi also reiterated LJP’s demand to immediately bring an ordinance to ensure that status quo is maintained in the SC/ST Act.

“This time the protests could get fiercer and sharper. Justice AK Goyal’s judgement in Supreme Court rendered SC/ST ACT ineffectual. After his retirement, he has been appointed as chairman of National Green Tribunal. This has sent out a message to the SC/ST community that our government has awarded Justice Goyal for his judgement,” Mr. Paswan wrote.

Justice Goel was one of two judges of the Supreme Court bench, which on March 20, laid down stringent safeguards including provision for anticipatpory bail and a preliminary enquiry before registration of a case under the Act. The judgement noted that there had been instance of abuse of the act.

Since the judgement, the LJP has been demanding that the government should issue an ordinance to restore the original act. Though the BJP government has been making the right noises, it is yet to issue the orders. In the letter, Mr. Paswan has once again reiterated this demand.

His father and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan too has written a similar letter to Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

LJP are the only BJP allies at present who backed the government wholeheartedly. The sources within the party told The Hindu that if the government continues to ignore the issue they might no longer be able to back it.

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