Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad said on Saturday that he would start a countrywide agitation against “atrocities” on Dalits and demanded the withdrawal of cases against the community during an agitation early this year. Mr. Azad, also known as Ravan, was addressing Bhim Army activists who staged a dharna in front of the Muzaffarnagar Collectorate in Uttar Pradesh.
Mr. Azad alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state government was anti Dalit and taking action against innocent Dalits in false cases registered against members of the community during a Bharat Bandh on April 2. Some Dalit and Bahujan groups called the Bharat Bandh in protest against a Supreme Court judgement in March that ruled out immediate arrests in cases under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Twelve people were killed in violence during the bandh. Azad demanded the withdrawal of the cases registered during the Dalit agitation and asked for compensation to the families of the deceased who were killed in police firing.
The Bhim Army Chief announced that his organisation would start a nationwide agitation against atrocities on Dalits and said they began their agitation from Muzaffarnagar on Saturday. The Mr. Azad also hit out at the district authorities for not allowing their meeting there.