New Delhi, Aug 22 : Dalit leader Chandrashekhar Azad who heads the Bhim Army, and the 90 others arrested after a massive protest in Delhi against the demolition of a temple in the city, will be produced before a Delhi court on Thursday.
The protest by Dalits turned violent in Delhi against the demolition of a temple in the city dedicated to the 16th century mystic poet-saint Ravidas.
The demolition of the Ravidas temple in a forest area in south Delhi’s Tughlakabad on August 10, based on the Supreme Court’s orders, has turned political with many parties demanding that the temple be reconstructed either at the same spot or at an alternative location. The demolition is also an emotive issue for the followers of the Ravidassia religion, mostly comprising people from the so-called lower castes.
Violent protesters damaged several vehicles and two motorcycles were set on fire, according to the police. Several people, including 15 police personnel have been injured.
“This insult to the voice of Dalits is intolerable. This is an emotive issue. Their voices must be respected,” Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted in Hindi this morning, hitting out at the centre.
Delhi Police said, ” Bhim Army Chief, Chandrashekhar Azad was arrested, yesterday. An FIR has been registered under IPC sections 147, 149, 186, 353, 332 at Govindpuri police station. Other protestors are also in police custody, further investigation underway.”
“First the BJP government messes around with Ravi Das temple – the symbol of cultural heritage of crores of Dalit sisters and brothers, and when thousands of Dalit brothers and sisters raise their voice in the national capital, the BJP baton-charges them, gets tear gas fired at them and arrests them,” the Congress general secretary said.