Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and the outfit’s Delhi unit chief Himanshu Balmiki were detained by Uttar Pradesh police near Aligarh in the early hours of Wednesday when they were enroute to Hathras district. They were with the family of the 19-year-old Dalit gangrape victim, who died on Tuesday in Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital. Azad’s associates said on Wednesday that their leaders had been detained but the police denied any such detention.
On Tuesday, workers of Chandrashekhar’s Azad Samaj Party and Bhim Army had joined the protest outside Safdarjung Hospital to demand justice for the gangrape victim and her family. After a day, the body of the gangrape victim was forcibly cremated by the Uttar Pradesh Police in the early hours of September 30 in Boolgarhi village of Hathras district, against the wishes of her family.
Ravindra Bhati, a core committee member of Azad Samaj Party, said there is no clue about the two leaders’ location after reaching Jewar toll plaza to get on the lane to Tappal, Aligarh. He alleged the two were detained during the intervening night on Tuesday and Wednesday but police were not making it public.
Around 12.30 pm on Wednesday, dozens of Azad Samaj Party and Bhim Army activists reached the Tappal police station in Aligarh and demonstrated outside the police station. Bhati told the protesters that their representatives will meet senior police officials to inquire about Azad and Balmiki.
When the protesters contacted a senior Aligarh police official, he replied that he had no idea of any detention. The district police chief and some other senior officials could not be contacted as they have been under home isolation after contracting coronavirus.