Bhim Army supporters protest Chandrasekhar arrest

James Marshall
June 9, 2017

Chandrashekhar, founder of the Bhim army and the main man accused in the Saharanpur violence has been arrested today from Himachal Pradesh. "Bhim Army's Deoband Vidhan Sabha president Deepak Kumar and Saharanpur district president Praveen Gautam have been arrested from near Sun City Colony at Malhipur Road", Saharanpur city circle officer Mukesh Chandra Mishra said, according to Indian Express.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

Chandrashekhar Azad, accused by the police of spearheading the Saharanpur violence, has been arrested by the UP police special task force.

. While on the run, Chandrashekhar had addressed a protest meeting of Dalits at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on May 21. The UP police claim that he was the mastermind behind the caste clashes in Saharanpur where lives were lost.

Chandrasekhar is one of the key persons wanted in connection with the caste violence and the UP police yesterday announced a reward of Rs 12,000 for information on his whereabouts.

"Instead of arresting the real culprits of the Saharanpur violence, the police has arrested innocent people and put them behind bars". He had earlier said that he would surrender if 37 "innocent" Dalits were released on bail.

Mr Chandrashekhar, who uses one name, leads the Bhim army, a group of activists from the Dalit (formerly untouchables) caste.

The 30-year-old lawyer from Saharanpur had founded Bhim Army, which hit the headlines after its members allegedly participated in violent demonstrations following clashes between Dalits and Thakurs in Shabbirpur village of Saharanpur district last month.

"When we informed the police about it, a rumour spread that our community was protesting the rally". Violence once again broke out after some 20 Dalit houses were torched and many vehicles were torched.

On 23 May, another person was shot dead and two others were wounded, following which the government had suspended the senior superintendent of police and district magistrate and transferred the divisional commissioner and the deputy inspector general of police. Chandrashekhar was booked for inciting violence and attacking police after which he absconded.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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