The Delhi Police on August 21, 2019, night detained over 50 protesters including Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad after a Dalit protest over demolition of Saint Ravidas temple turned violent in Tughlakabad area of the national capital.
The police had to resort to lathi-charge to control the crowd and even used tear gas to disperse the violent protesters. The demonstration turned violent late in the evening as protesters marched towards the temple, resorted to stone-pelting and used sticks to attack policemen. The protesters also set ablaze a few two-wheelers and attacked a police vehicle.
Wearing blue caps and carrying flags, protesters from neighbouring states marched from Ambedkar Bhawan in Jhandewalan to the Ramlila Maidan to protest against the demolition of the Ravidas temple in Tughlakabad on August 10, 2019, following a Supreme Court order. Due to the protest, the traffic movement was severely affected in some parts of the city.
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad was arrested a few hours after being detained at South East Delhi’s Govindpuri police station.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East) Gyanesh Kumar confirmed the arrest. A case under relevant Sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, was registered, police said.
The protesters were joined by Delhi’s Social Justice Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam and a few spiritual leaders from the community. Gautam said that the fight is against the injustice and not against the Supreme Court order.
“I am here as a representative of the community and not as a Delhi minister or politician. We respect the Supreme Court order, but the government should answer why only temples of the Dalit community and statues of BR Ambedkar are being demolished across the country?” he asked.
The Ravidas temple in Tughlakabad forest area was demolished by the Delhi Development Authority on the orders of the Supreme Court. The protesters were demanding to rebuild the temple by the Centre or handing over of the plot to the community.