Dalits Chanting ‘Mandir Wahin Banayenge’ Met With Lathis in Delhi
Police fired tear gas and lathi-charged Dalits who were protesting against the Ravidas temple demolition in Delhi.
Thousands of Dalit protesters who gathered in Delhi to ask the Modi government to rebuild the Ravidas temple demolished by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) were met with tear gas and lathis on the evening of Wednesday, 21 August.
The temple was demolished on 10 August after the Supreme Court asked Ravidas Jayanti Samaroh Samiti to vacate the site as it lay on forest land.
The Delhi Police resorted to shelling tear gas, firing in the air and lathi-charging the protesters to disperse them. Bhim Army Chief Chandrasekhar Azad and 50 others were also detained, as per DCP (southeast) Chinmoy Biswal.
Earlier in the day, a sea of blue, mobilised by the Bhim Army through social media descended on the Ramlila Maidan to voice a unified war cry of “Mandir Wahin Banayenge.”
Turning one of the most popular slogans of hardline Hindu organisations on its head, the protesters then marched towards the site where the erstwhile temple stood in Tughlaqabad. “The BJP can build a temple in Ayodhya but does not care about sentiments of Dalits,” said Munni Lal Gautam, a protester from Delhi.
‘Protesters Not Involved in Vandalism’
Police said they had to resort to “mild force” because some protesters vandalised vehicles and set ablaze tyres.
However, this reporter had witnessed a lot of protesters trying to stop these vandals from disrupting property. They claimed that these miscreants were “outsiders who were trying to bring disrepute to the agitation.”
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