The Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the caste violence in Saharanpur, has exonerated eight accused belonging to the Thakur community. The eight had been arrested for allegedly attacking three Dalits on May 23.
The SIT moved an application before a local court two days ago seeking their release, saying that they were found innocent during the investigation. It referred to the role of 14 others in the violence.
“During investigation, we found that these eight accused were falsely named in the FIR lodged on various charges including attempt to murder. We had moved an application in the court under Section 169 CrPC and requested their release. The court has accepted the application and also has allowed the release,” said Saharanpur SSP Babloo Kumar. He said that they were looking for the other 14.
The SIT has been verifying claims of over 100 affidavits that families of other accused have filed in the cases related to the violence. Separately, jailed Bheem Army chief Chandrashekhar’s mother, Kamlesh Devi, has released a statement on social media calling for a dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on June 18. “The dharna has been called to protest against atrocities on Dalits. We have conveyed to people about the dharna through social media including WhatsApp and Facebook. Apart from Uttar Pradesh, people from other states are also expected to join the dharna on June 18,” said Chandrashekhar’s brother, Kamal Kishore.
Kumar said that they have informed their Delhi counterparts about the dharna. Chandrashekhar, who is an accused in the violence, had held a dharna at Jantar Mantar on May 21. One person was killed in the violence after Dalits had objected to a Thakur procession in Shabbirpur village to mark Maharana Pratap’s birth anniversary on May 5. Dalits had earlier accused Thakurs of preventing them from installing Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s statue.