Jailed Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar released from Saharanpur jail; Dalit leader was arrested under NSA last year

Chandrashekhar, the founder of the Bhim Army who has been in jail since June 2017, was released from the Saharanpur jail late in the night on Thursday. In a statement to the media, the Uttar Pradesh police said they decided to release him early because of his mother's request. Chandrashekhar was supposed to be in jail till 1 November, otherwise.

According to NDTV, hundreds of Bhim Army supporters reached outside the Saharanpur jail on Thursday night to welcome their leader. Soon after his release, Chandrashekhar hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and vowed to throw it out from power in 2019.

Chandrashekhar, also known as Ravan, 30, was arrested in June 2017 in connection with the 5 May clashes in which one person was killed and 16 others were injured at Shabbirpur village in Saharanpur. According to ANI, Chandrasekhar was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) from Himachal Pradesh's Dalhousie.

A Bhim Army supporter carrying a poster of Chandrashekhar. News18

A Bhim Army supporter carrying a poster of Chandrashekhar. News18

According to media reports, the police had earlier announced a reward of Rs 12,000 on information about Chandrashekhar's whereabouts before they were able to eventually arrest him.

On 2 November, 2017, the Allahabad High Court had granted bail to Chandrashekhar. However, a day before his release, he was booked under the NSA, thus preventing his release. Under the NSA, he was to be detained till 1 November.

But on Thursday, a Home Department spokesperson said that, "After going through the representation of Chandrashekhar's mother, it has been decided to release him early."

NSA was invoked against Chandrashekhar, has a cult following among the Dalits, and five others in the case. While three people were released earlier, Chandrashekhar, Sonu and Shiv Kumar are still in jail. Sonu and Shiv Kumar will also be released early as the district magistrate of Saharanpur has been directed to release them.

 


Updated Date: Sep 14, 2018 10:20 AM

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