Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad, who was jailed under the National Security Act (NSA) by the UP government, was released from prison at 2:24 am on Friday, 14 September.
The Uttar Pradesh government ordered the early release of Azad on Thursday. The Bhim Army chief, on Friday, held a press conference hours after his release.
While addressing the media, the Bhim Army chief said that he will appeal to the people to not vote for BJP. Saying that he will not contest the elections, Azad added, “All that I had to go through, I will return them with interest in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.”
The government was so scared that they are going to be rebuked by Supreme Court, that they ordered an early release to save themselves. I’m confident that they’ll frame some charges against me within 10 days: I’ll ask my people to throw BJP out of power in 2019.Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhim Army Chief to ANI
Two of Azad’s aides, whose jail term was till 14 October, will also be released with Azad.
The decision comes ahead of 2019 elections and is being seen as BJP’s Dalit outreach, the report further read.
Azad was first arrested for his alleged involvement in Saharanpur riots on 8 June 2017. On 2 November 2017 the Allahabad High Court granted him bail. However, a day later, he was arrested again under the provisions of the NSA.
Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad released.
Azad filed a petition before the Allahabad High Court earlier this year, asking for the detention order to be quashed. In May, the high court dismissed his petition, finding no illegality in the detention order.
Saharanpur Violence Case
On 5 May, a Dalit group had objected to a procession of Thakurs in Shabbirpur to mark the birth anniversary of Rajput king Maharana Pratap, triggering violence, in which one person was killed and over 15 were injured.
Dalits say upper-caste Thakurs had earlier prevented them from installing a statue of BR Ambedkar in the premises of the Ravidas temple in the village.
Members of the Bhim Army, a Dalit group, had on 9 May torched a bus and set a number of two-wheelers afire after the administration had turned down their request to hold a mahapanchayat in Gandhi Park to demand compensation for those affected in the 5 May inter-caste clashes.