A Delhi court Saturday granted bail to Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, two months after he was detained during an agitation against the demolition of Ravidas Temple in Tughlakabad. Azad, facing trial over violence, has been lodged in Tihar Jail since August.
The court has ordered him not to leave the country and tamper with evidence. So far, 94 of the 96 Bhim Army members, arrested on several charges, including rioting and unlawful assembly, have been released on bail.
The development comes nearly a week after Chandrashekhar Azad and scores of Dalit men lodged in the Tihar Jail sat on a hunger strike, protesting against the jail authorities after they allegedly denied them permission to observe Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti.
On August 21, the Bhim Army, led by its chief Azad, led a march in Tughlakabad against the Supreme Court-mandated demolition of Ravidas Temple, following which police picked up 96 protesters.
Police said a pistol was recovered from the protest. The temple, DDA officials who carried out the demolition said, was built on forest land.
Protesters wielding lathis marched from Ramlila Maidan to Tughlakabad to visit the demolition site, throwing traffic out of gear.
The protest soon turned violent, with cars and motorcycles being set on fire and windshields of cars being broken by agitated protesters, most of whom had come from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
On Friday, the Centre told the Supreme Court that it was willing to hand over land measuring 200 sqm to devotees for construction of Guru Ravidas temple in South Delhi, at the same place where it existed before, but with certain conditions.
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