Saharanpur violence: Chandrasekhar had said he would surrender if 37 "innocent Dalits" were released.
The man hunted by the police for his role in the recent caste clashes in Uttar Pradeshs Saharanpur was arrested this morning. Chandrasekhar, the underground founder of the -Bhim Army-, was tracked down by the police to Dalhousie, a hill resort in Himachal Pradesh. The UP police had declared a reward of Rs 12,000 for any information that would lead to the arrest of the 30-year-old also known by the nickname -Ravan-. Chandrasekhar had said that he would surrender if 37 -innocent Dalits- were released.
Here are the top 10 developments of the story:
- As he evaded arrest for a month, the moustache-twirling Chandrasekhar gave interviews to the media from various hideouts. He alleged in them that atrocities against the Dalit or underprivileged communities were on the rise since Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took charge two month ago.
- The lawyer’s Bhim Army came in the media glare after the clashes on May 5 between Dalits and Thakurs at a village in Saharanpur, in which one person was killed and several injured.
- Police officer Aditya Mishra said: “It (Bhim Army) earlier started off as an organization to help Dalits, but it had started to instigate Dalits in a wrong manner through social media.”
- The police reportedly tracked Chandrasekhar down by tracing his phone calls through states including Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.
- Chandrasekhar was last seen in public in a rally in Delhi on May 21, where thousands of his supporters wore navy blue Nehru caps and hailed their young leader.
- Chandrasekhar, sporting a blue scarf, gave a call to defeat “Hindutva” forces and said his community would not sit silently anymore.
- The Bhim Sena was set up around two years ago in Saharanpur and has gained considerable popularity among Dalits.
- The outfit is known to be aggressive in its campaign for Dalit empowerment, but it is also acknowledged for its prompt response to calls for help. The Bhim Sena runs some 300 pathshaalas or schools.
- Over the years, the group has been able to pitch itself as the answer for Dalits seen to be disenchanted with former UP Chief Minister Mayawati.
- It claims support in seven states, but its influence is confined mainly to Saharanpur, where, incidentally, Mayawati’s mentor Kanshi Ram began his political career.
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