Civil society activists, student leaders demand release of Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad
Protest alleged discrimination and attacks against Dalits, vandalising of Ambedkar’s statue in Saharanpur
A prominent group of civil society activists and student leaders held a press conference on Monday at the Press Club of India to protest alleged discrimination and attacks against Dalits, and demanding the release of Dalit activists, mostly belonging to the Bhim Army led by Chandrashekhar Azad.
Speaking at the event, Senior Advocate Mehmood Paracha contended that RSS members and ‘brahminical forces’ were behind the vandalising of Ambedkar's statue in Saharanpur on September 10. He said that when Dalits organised a protest against this and demanded an FIR against the perpetuators, the police instead booked 750 of them, including Azad’s family and Kamal Singh Walia, General Secretary of Bhim Army, in false cases. “This is an undeclared emergency,” he said.
Other panellists present at the press conference included Prashant Bhushan, Senior Advocate and human rights advocate lawyer; Pyare Lal Jatav and Ravindra Bhatti, Central Working Committee, Bhim Army; Chaudhary Harsh Kumar, National General Secretary, Jannayak Janata Party; Aishe Ghosh, JNUSU President; Sucheta De, national President, AISA; and Afreen Fatima, Elected Councillor JNUSU and former President, Women’s College AMUSU.
Meanwhile, as per reports in sections of the media, Dalit activists led by Ravidasi Sants have given a call for a second protest march on September 21 in Delhi against the demolition of Ravidas Temple in Tughlakabad. This would start at Jantar Mantar and proceed to the site of the demolished temple.