New Delhi: Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar on Tuesday moved Supreme Court seeking to rebuild the Sant Ravidas Temple in south Delhi’s Tughlaqabad, protest against the demolition of which turned violent last Wednesday.
Acting under the orders of the top court, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had demolished the temple on August 10.
The development triggered massive unrest among the Dalit community leading to statewide protests in Punjab on August 13. Then, on August 22, protesters converged in the national capital demanding that the temple be reconstructed either at the same spot or at an alternative site.
The protesters were joined by Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and Delhi Social Justice Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam.
Late night, violence broke out in the Tughlaqbad area as members of the Dalit community clashed with the police, leading to injuries to some police personnel. The protesters reportedly set fire to two motorcycles and vandalised a police vehicle. Police had to use ‘mild lathi-charge’ and lob tear shells to bring the situation under control.
Later, the Bhim Army chief and 95 other protesters were arrested and sent to judicial custody for 14 days. On Friday, the organisation warned that if the temple is not rebuilt in 10 days, it will call for a nationwide bandh. It further said that Azad will not apply for bail till those arrested with him are released.
The incident has been condemned by several opposition leaders including Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, who, in a tweet, termed the incident as an ‘insult’ to Dalits, which, she said, cannot be tolerated. She further called it an ’emotional matter’ for Dalits and said that their demands should be respected.