Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’ freed from jail, issues chilling warning to anti-Dalit forces

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Dalit leader Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’ was freed from the jail in the intervening hours of Thursday and Friday after 15 months of stay inside a prison in Uttar Pradesh.

Chandrashekhar Azad

Soon after emerging out of the jail, Azad vowed to die to protect the self-esteem of his community. Speaking to reporters, the popular leader of Bhim Army said, “It’s okay to die to protect your self-esteem. Under no circumstances, we will allow anyone to become a dictator in this country. This is our country. We are not that weak that people will demand us to prove our identity.”

Azad reminded his detractors that the constitution was still supreme in India adding that his people will work towards removing the doubts of his rivals in India’s constitution.

“Our fight will continue until atrocities (against Dalit community) end,” Azad thundered while flashing the book on the architect of India’s constitution, Dr BR Ambedkar.

Azad’s release was possible after the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh decided to revoke the dreaded National Security Act filed against Azad, the young leader of Bhim Army. Azad was booked under the NSA for Saharanpur voilence in May 2017 and has been in jail since then.

Reacting to the development, Amnesty India’s boss, Aakar Patel wrote, “I met Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’ earlier this week and his release is a relief to everyone who is working for Dalit rights, it’s a tremendous victory for human rights! The UP government now must ensure that he is not targeted and is not incarcerated again without a fair trial.”

In its official tweet, Amnesty India called the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to release Bhim Army leader ‘a massive win’ for human rights in India.

Many on social media were quick to link the development to the next year’s crucial Lok Sabha polls, where the Dalit votes will play a key role in deciding the electoral fortune of India’s political parties.

Many felt that the BJP was nervous about its track record of the last four years, a period that saw an alarming rise in violence against the Dalit community.

Azad, a lawyer by profession, had co-founded the Bhim Army or the Bhim Army Bharat Ekta Mission. He was arrested last year after widespread violence in Saharanpur district. The violence had erupted after Dalits objected to the use of loud music by the upper caste Hindus during a procession to honour Rajput ruler Maharana Pratap. During the violence, 24 Dalit houses were set on fire.

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