THE BIJNOR Police on Tuesday arrested five members of a Dalit organisation called the ‘Abhass Mahasangh Mission 24 carat’, which had called for a ‘mahapanchayat’ at Numaish ground in Bijnor city on Wednesday.
The ‘mahapanchayat’ was scheduled to be held to raise the issue of “atrocities on Dalits” following the recent caste violence in Saharanpur.
On Monday, the district administration had claimed that the outfit had assured it would not hold the ‘mahapanchayat’ on Wednesday, adding that they had still made security arrangements.
Prem Veer Singh Rana, SHO of City Kotwali police station, said, “All five persons were produced in court which sent them to judicial custody. They were arrested while they were going to the ground where the mahapanchayat was scheduled to be organised today.”
The arrested include the outfit’s national president Lal Singh Bhumewalkar, general secretary Arvind Kumar and three other members, Joginder, Sominder and Gaminder. The five had been named in an FIR registered under IPC section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of race and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony).
The Bijnor police had earlier lodged this FIR against nine office-bearers of the organisation, claiming that the pamphlets distributed by the Abhass Mahasangh giving a call for the ‘mahapanchayat’ contained statements against a particular caste and mentioned that Dalits were attacked and their houses set ablaze in the May 5 violence. According to the police, the pamphlets also alleged that police were not taking strict action following which Dalits were forced to leave their villages.
Ashu Kumar, a member of the organisation, said, “We had assured police and administration of Bijnor that mahapanchayat will not be held on Tuesday. Police still arrested five members of the organisation. No mahapanchayat was organised.”
ADM (Bijnor) Surendra Ram also confirmed that no mahapanchayat was organised on Tuesday.