Saharanpur violence: Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar arrested in Himachal Pradesh

The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) on Thursday arrested Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar alias Rawan, after he was accused of inciting caste clashes in different areas of Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district.

According to the police sources here, Chandrashekhar was arrested from a hotel in the hill resort of Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh.

Chandrashekhar is one of the key person wanted in connection with the caste violence and the UP police yesterday announced a reward of Rs.12k for information on his whereabouts. He said they refused to arrest him."Now I want that 37 innocent dalits who are in jail be released on bail".

On May 5, one person was killed and 16 people, including a head constable, were injured in clashes between the Dalits and the Rajputs in Shabbirpur and Simlana villages. The chief minister has lost control over the police and the administration.

The officials said the Bhim Army Bharat Ekta Mission, founded by 30-year old lawyer Chandrasekhar, circulated messages on WhatsApp and other social media platforms, appealing to members of the Dalit community to attend a "mahapanchayat" on May 9 in Gandhi Park to demand compensation and relief for those affected in caste clashes.

The 30-year-old Azad, the main accused in the Saharanpur caste violence, had been on the run for almost a month and carrying a reward of Rs 12,000 on his head.

The cycle of violence in Saharanpur began on May 5, when a man was killed, several injured and around 25 homes set ablaze in inter-caste clashes in Shabbirpur village.

The opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh have been attacking the ruling BJP over the violence in Saharanpur.

BSP leader Mayawati had visited Shabbirpur to counter the growing influence of the Bhim Army by mobilising her party cadre in the region.

On the youth's death, he said, "Initially, the police said he was shot dead".

The Congress will protest if the police beat up Azad, he said.

  • Zachary Reyes