Activists criticise Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad’s arrest in Jaipur forward of protest

Human rights and Dalit activists on Sunday criticised the arrest of Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad and 21 others by the Jaipur Police, The Indian Express reported.

On Friday evening, Azad was arrested from a lodge in Jaipur to reportedly stop him from taking part in a protest known as by the Covid Health Assistants. Dalit activist Dharmendra Kumar mentioned the protestors have been demanding regularisation of their companies. Azad had reached Jaipur to help them.

“They were planning to support CHA on July 2,” Kumar instructed The Indian Express. “The Jaipur Police was also told that if the government does not want the protest to be held now, it can be postponed. Alternatively, a memorandum can be submitted to a government official. However, the police arrived around 12.30 am and picked up Azad and others.”

The Rajasthan wing of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, a human rights organisation, on Sunday questioned why the police needed to arrest them in the midst of the evening.

“The other 21 accused, all Dalits who were with Azad in the hotel, were also dragged out from their rooms,” the People’s Union for Civil Liberties mentioned in an announcement.

All the 22 individuals have been taken into custody below the Criminal Code Procedure Section 151 (arrest to forestall the fee of cognisable offences), the organisation added.

It described the arrest as a “mockery of the freedom of speech and expression”, reported The Indian Express.

“It is worth repeating that the police under the said section have the power to arrest on ‘knowing of the design to commit any cognisable offence’ but of which there was no evidence, instead they were in a dialogue with the police,” the People’s Union for Civil Liberties mentioned. “It is clear that the police are exercising their unbridled power of preventive detention and denying Azad his constitutional right to protest.”

The organisation additionally alleged that the 22 people have been despatched to judicial custody with out following due course of.

“The use of this executive power has no judicial safeguards in Jaipur, with the bail lying entirely within the police apparatus,” it added. “The Executive Magistrate arbitrarily sent Azad to judicial custody without providing the accused any opportunity to be heard and bail application to be filed.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Jaipur Police (South) Mridul Kachawa mentioned that it was a “preventive arrest”, reported The Indian Express.

Currently, restrictions on gathering of 4 or extra individuals have been imposed in all districts of Rajasthan for a month below Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The curfew was introduced after Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor in Udaipur, was killed on June 28.

A video confirmed two males claiming accountability for the crime as they brandish the cleavers used within the homicide. They claimed they’d killed Lal for supporting the disparaging feedback about Prophet Muhammad made by former Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma throughout a debate on Times Now tv channel in May.

However, the curfew was relaxed on June 30 for numerous Hindutva organisations that had deliberate a rally to protest Lal’s homicide in Udaipur.

The “Sarv Hindu Samaj” march was held from the town’s Town Hall to the collectorate workplace. Additional Director General of Police Dinesh MN had mentioned the restrictions have been lifted solely on the route of the rally.

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