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Ravidas temple row: Protest by Dalits turns violent, police vehicles vandalised

According to the police, the protest turned violent during their march to the site of the temple demolished by the Delhi Development Authority on August 10 on the orders of the Supreme Court.

Written by Arnab Mitra | New Delhi |
Updated: August 23, 2019 12:10:14 pm
The police restored to “mild lathicharge” and use tear gas to disperse demonstrators. (Express Photo by Arnab Mitra)

The protest against the demolition of Ravidas temple in south Delhi turned violent as thousands of Dalist from various parts of the country hit the streets. The police resorted to “mild lathicharge” and used tear gas after protesters set two motorcycles on fire and vandalised a police vehicle, causing injuries to a few policemen.

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad was also detained from Tughlakabad and taken to Kalkaji police station. An FIR has been filed against him for rioting and unlawful activity.

Several vehicles were vandalised during the protest. (Express Photo by Arnab Mitra)

According to Devesh Srivastav, Joint CP, Southern Range, “Over 2000 agitators attacked police personnel and vandalised their car.”We are investigating the situations, no arrest has been made, yet.”

Read | ‘Everything can’t be political’, says SC on Ravidas temple demolition

Harmit Singh, an injured police official said, “The agitated mobs started pelting stones at them and vandalised the cars with the slogans ‘Jai Bhim’. When police tried to chase the mobs, they went furious and vandalised the shops and cars in the area.”

Cries of ‘Jai Bhim’ rend the air as the protesters demanded to rebuild the temple. (Express photo by Arnab Mitra)

Around 500 police personnel including the DSP and Joint CP southern range are monitoring the situation. The entire stretch of Govindpuri and Kalkaji was closed for traffic movement.

The protest in Delhi came a week after a similar protest of Dalits in Punjab on August 13 over the issue. The issue has taken a political hue with various parties demanding that the temple be reconstructed either at the same spot in Tughlakabad forest area or at an alternative location.

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