Janhastakshep strongly condemns the persecution of the Bhim Army Chief, Chandra Shekhar Azad by the UP government in no uncertain terms. As is well known by now that in May this year in the caste riot between Dalits and the dominant upper caste, Thakurs, in Shabbirpur village in Saharanpur District, many houses of the Dalits were gutted down and the members of the community fled the village out of fear. According to the recent reports the village still bears a deserted look.
The root cause of this conflict, as is also well known, was intolerance of the dominant upper caste, Thakurs towards challenges to the traditional social relation of Varnashram feudalism, owing to steep rise in the Dalit assertion and scholarship during the last 3 decades.
Subsequent huge protest rallies in Saharanpur and New Delhi by Bhim Sena supported by other democratic and progressive forces and arrest of Chandra Shekhar, a lawyer by profession is again well known. On November 2, Allahabad High Court found the charges against him to be politically motivated and granted him bail. The next day Saharanpur DM slapped NSA against him.
Photographs of the Bhim Sena chief on wheel chair, doing rounds of social media are testimony to the brutal torture of the Dalit leader in jail. Arrest and torture of Azad is not an isolated incident but integral part of the present UP and central BJP governments’ anti-Dalit designs on their way towards establishing a Hindu Rashtra.
Janhastakshep appeals to all the democratic forces and individuals to oppose the draconian measures of the government to crush dissent, right to expression and protest as part of anti-Dalit; anti-minority; anti-woman agenda of the NDA government. We demand quashing of the fabricated charges against the young Dalit leader and immediate withdrawal of NSA against him.
Ish Mishra (Convener)
Vikas Bajpai (Co-Convener)