A few days after Bhim Army founder Chandrasekhar Azad walked out of Tihar jail, the Uttar Pradesh police have booked his two close associates –outfit’s national spokesperson Manjit Nautiyal and general secretary Kamal Walia -- under the stringent Gangster Act in two-year old Saharanpur violence case.
Two other members of the organisation have also been booked under the same act. Both Nautiyal and Walia are currently in the jail in separate cases.
In a violent clash between the dominant Rajput community and Dalits in Saharanpur in May 2017, the Dalits were attacked and their houses were burnt down. Two persons from the Rajput community also lost their lives.
A follow-up protest organised by Dalits under the banner of the Bhim Army had turned violent following a clash between policemen and the protesters.
UP Police alleged that Bhim Army activists and other protesters associated with the outfit had attacked police personnel and set many police vehicles on fire, following which several cases were filed against Chandrashekhar Azad and his associates including the National Security Act (NSA).
After a brief run away, Ravan was arrested by the UP police special task force in June 2017.
Several persons from the Rajput community were also arrested in the case, and many of them got the bail by the district court. However, the bail application moved by Chandrashekhar Azad and his associates was rejected multiple times.
Meanwhile, a letter allegedly written by Nautiyal and Walia from Tihar jail is doing the rounds. In the letter both have vowed to continue fighting for the cause of the Dalits.