Jantar Mantar in Delhi has witnessed several protests in the recent past and heard many firebrand leaders. On Sunday, thousands of Dalit rights activists, led by Bhim Army, had gathered at the historical place to raise their voice against the alleged caste-based violence in Saharanpur of Uttar Pradesh. Among loud chorus, one voice stood out. It was Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar’s one. Chandrashekhar, who is named in one of the 24 FIRs registered by UP Police for his alleged role in instigating violent protests by Dalits, vowed for a long struggle even as he said he would surrender to police, according to Indian Express report.
The 30-year-old lawyer said he was overwhelmed by the size of the crowd and alleged many of his supporters could not attend as they stopped by police at Delhi border. He also said that he evaded arrest to reach out to the protesters and announced that the stage is set for a struggle.
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According to the report, the protests were staged four days after one Thakur man was killed and 25 Dalit homes set ablaze on May 23 after Dalits in Shabbirpur village objected to loud music being played by Thakurs in a procession to attend a function in honour of Rajput ruler Maharana Pratap. Chandrashekhar has been absconding since May 10, surfacing only through an audio message that asked supporters to join him at Jantar Mantar, the UP Police told Indian Express.
According to UP Police, Chandrashekhar has been absconding since May 10, surfacing only through an audio message that asked supporters to join him at Jantar Mantar.
Meanwhile, after the rally, Chandrashekhar went to a court in Delhi to surrender. But he was told that he had to surrender in Saharanpur, where the cases had been registered. He will do so now, the IE reports.
Chandrashekhar is accused of sharing an objectionable video on social media and disrupting the communal harmony in Saharanpur. The protestors demanded that cases be registered against those who had perpetrated violence against dalits on May 9. They also demanded that the affected families be awarded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh. The activists also demanded that the FIRs lodged against Chandrashekhar and other dalit activists be cancelled and a judicial probe be initiated into the incidents of clashes at Saharanpur, according to PTI report.