New Delhi: Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad, along with 90 other protesters, was arrested late Wednesday after a clash over the demolition of a temple at Tughlaqabad area in south Delhi. The protesters reportedly set fire to two motorcycles and vandalised a police vehicle, causing injuries to a few policemen. Further, Chandrashekhar Azad is also likely to be produced in a court today.
An FIR was registered under IPC sections 147, 149, 186, 353, 332 at Govindpuri police station, reported ANI. Further investigation into the matter is underway.
Members of Dalit community on Wednesday converged in the national capital to protest against the demolition of a Ravidas Mandir in Tughlaqabad on August 10. The protesters turned violent during their march to the site of the temple demolished by the Delhi Development Authority on August 10 on the orders of the Supreme Court.
To ease the tension, police had to resort to “mild lathi-charge” and use tear gas to disperse the crowd, an official said.
“Police lobbed tear gas shells and used mild lathi-charge to disperse the crowd. We have detained a few persons,” the senior official said.
The gathering in the national capital saw the participation of Delhi Social Justice Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and various community leaders. Addressing the gathering, the minister said that he was there as a representative of the community and not as a minister. He further said that while he respected the Supreme Court’s order, the government should answer why only temples of the Dalit community and statues of Dr BR Ambedkar being demolished across the country.
Wearing blue caps and carrying flags, protesters of all age groups marched from Ambedkar Bhawan in Jhandewalan to the Ramlila Maidan. Traffic movement was affected in some parts of the city due to this.
Cries of ‘Jai Bhim’ rend the air as the protesters, who arrived from Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other states, demanded that the government hand over the plot of land to the community and rebuild the temple.
The protesters, who were gathered under the banner of Akhil Bharatiya Sant Shiromani Guru Ravidas Mandir Sanyukta Samiti, an umbrella body of Dalits formed for this movement, vowed to continue their fight till their demands were met.