This Insult To Dalit Voices Cannot Be Tolerated: Priyanka Gandhi Voices Concern Over Detention Of Dalit Protestors
"This is an emotional matter, and their voice should be respected."
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi voiced her concerns over the arrest of Dalit activists protesting against the demolition of centuries-old Sant Ravidas temple.
On Thursday, August 22, Gandhi wrote on Twitter:
“BJP government first messes with Ravidas temple, which is a symbol of the cultural heritage of crores of Dalits. And when they raise their voices against this, then BJP resorts to lathi-charge, orders use of tear gas against them and also gets them arrested.”
She added, “This insult to the voice of Dalits cannot be tolerated. This is an emotional matter, and their voice should be respected.”
दलितों की आवाज़ का ये अपमान बर्दाश्त से बाहर है। यह एक जज़्बाती मामला है उनकी आवाज का आदर होना चाहिए।#SaveSantRavidasTemple
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) August 22, 2019
Gandhi’s tweets were about the arrest of Dalit protestors including Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad on the night of Wednesday, August 21, after being charged with rioting and obstructing public-servant in the discharge of public functions.
Speaking to ANI, Chinmoy Biswal, the DCP South East Delhi, said: “People protesting over Ravidas temple demolition issue clashed with policemen today evening. Some policemen sustained injuries in the incident. Some protesters have been detained and Bhim Army Chief Chandrasekhar Azad also among those detained.”
Per reports, an FIR has been registered at Govindpuri police station under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 147 (riot), 149 (unlawful assembly) 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty).
On August 10, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had demolished the historic Sant Ravidas Temple in the Tughlaqabad area on the orders of the Supreme Court. The DDA claimed that the temple and its campus were built on illegal land. According to documents submitted before the court, the Ravidas temple complex is spread across 12,350 square yards and has 20 rooms and one hall on its premises.
Various Dalit groups have demanded that the temple be reconstructed either at the same spot in Tughlaqabad forest area or at an alternative location.