Saharanpur violence: Bhim Sena to march to Delhi's Jantar Mantar on Sunday; founder's mother declares herself new chief

Following the arrest of Bhim Sena founder Chandrashekhar last week from Himachal Pradesh’s Dalhousie, his mother Kamlesh in a purported video on social media announced herself as the head of the Dalit outfit and called for a congregation of the community at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on 18 June.

File image of Saharanpur violence. News18

File image of Saharanpur violence. News18

"I am coming to Jantar Mantar on 18 June. This is Baba Saheb's (B R Ambedkar's) mission and we should not let it stop. You all must arrive there in big numbers," she said in the 22-second-long clip.

Along with the video, a pamphlet was released in which the Bheem Sena urged the president to release the "innocent Dalits" who have been jailed, and sought security for Chandrashekhar and his family.

Left-wing students group All India Students' Association (AISA) has thrown its weight behind the Sena and its national president Sucheta told Firstpost that they will participate in the 18 June protest gathering at Jantar Mantar.

“The Uttar Pradesh government represents the feudal forces and hence the Dalit activists are being projected as villains through the use of paid media, WhatsApp group and other media tools. We will gather at Jantar Mantar to protest against the injustice unleashed on Dalits and the members of the Bhim Sena on 18 June,” Sucheta said.

"You have seen it in JNU, in Hyderabad University and in several other places. The groups which toe the government's line are being promoted and those who don't do it are being targeted. In Saharanpur also, the government and the police are biased against the oppressed community," Sucheta added.

Meanwhile, in a fresh round of trouble in Saharanpur, members of the Dalit community are alleging that Uttar Pradesh police are conducting late night raids on their houses in Saharanpur and arresting their youths on trumped up charges, reported Deccan Herald.

According to the daily, on Monday hundreds of Dalit women created ruckus inside the city’s police lines and protested against what they alleged indiscriminate arrest of the community members.

There are also reports that a group of Dalit women blocked traffic on the busy Saharanpur-Muzaffarnagar road to register their protest against the police action.

Dalits in large numbers also held a demonstration before Behat police station in the district in protest against the arrest of a youth from Patherwa village for being an alleged member of the Bhim Sena. The youth was later released after the demonstration, police said.

Dalits have been holding demonstrations across the district to protest the arrest of Chandrashekhar.

A lawyer by profession, Chandrashekhar, was arrested on 8 June by Special Task Force of Uttar Pradesh Police in connection with his alleged role in the violence in Saharanpur.

Chandrasekhar had shot to limelight after holding a demonstration at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi against violence on Dalits in Saharanpur.

Earlier, two members of the Bhim Sena were arrested in Saharanpur for their alleged involvement in the Ramnagar caste violence on 9 May after a person was killed and several others were injured in a clash between Dalits and Thakurs at Shabbirpur village on 5 May.

About a dozen police vehicles were set ablaze and 12 policemen were injured in subsequent violence on 9 May.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jun 14, 2017 15:20 PM

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