Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati Thursday distanced her party from the Bhim Army protest against Ravidas temple demolition in Delhi, saying that if Section 144 is imposed by the government, it should be respected.
On Wednesday, police detained Bhim Army chief and Dalit leader Chandrashekhar Azad, along with 50 others, at Tughlakabad in Delhi after protests against the demolition of Ravidas Temple in the area, earlier this month, turned violent. Delhi Police spokesperson Mandeep Singh Randhawa said they used mild force and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd as it turned violent and started pelting stones and damaging cars and public property.
In a tweet on Thursday, Mayawati asked the BSP workers to respect the restrictions imposed under Section 144 by the government. “If the government imposes Section 144, the BSP leaders would never defy it to enter any site of protest forcefully. It will not give the government any chance to undertake any revengeful action,” she tweeted.
“BSP ke logon ke duara kanoon ko apne haath mein nahi lene ki jo parampara hai weh puri tarah se aaj bhi barkarar hai jabki dusari partiyon weh sangathanon ke liye yeh aam baat hai. Humein apne santon, guruon wah mahapurushon ke samman mein bekasur logon ko kisi bhi prakar ki taklif weh kshati nahi pahunchani hai…(The tradition of the BSP not to take law in hands is still intact, while it is common practice among other parties and organisations. We do not want to hurt the innocent, while showing respect for our saints and gurus…),” Mayawati tweeted.
Condemning the incident of violence, the BSP chief added, “Isliye kal Delhi ke khaskar Tughlaqabad chetra mein jo torphor adi ki ghatnayen ghatit hui hain, weh anuchit hai…tatha usse BSP ka kuch bhi lena dena nahi hai (That is why, the incident of violence in Delhi, especially Tuglakabad area, yesterday (Wednesday), is inappropriate and the BSP has nothing to do with it.)”
Opinion | Ravidas, faith, power
Meanwhile, Congress general secretary and in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra criticised the lathi charge on the protesters.
“Daliton ki awaj ka yeh apman bardasta se bahar hai. Yeh ek jazbaati mamla hai, unki awaj ka adar hona chahiye (This disrespect to the voice of Dalits cannot be tolerated. It is a matter of sentiments and their voice should be respected),” she wrote on twitter, with a hashtag, #SaveSantRavidasTemple.