Dalit protest: Bhim Army chief arrested for 'rioting'

Police personnel baton charge activists of Bhim Army during a rally to protest against the demolishment of Ravidas Mandir in Tughlakabad on the orders of the Supreme Court, near Ravidas Chowk in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad has been arrested on charges of rioting and unlawful assembly and will be produced before a court on Thursday, a police official said.

The Dalit leader and around 96 others were detained on Wednesday night from Tughlaqabad area after protest by Dalits against the demolition of a Ravidas temple turned violent, prompting police to resort to "mild lathicharge" and use tear gas to disperse the crowd.

"An FIR has been registered on charges of rioting, unlawful assembly, voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty among others. Chandrashekhar has been arrested. 96 other protesters are also in police custody. Probe is on," the official said.

The protesters turned violent when police did not allow them to proceed to the site of the temple demolished by the Delhi Development Authority on August 10 on the orders of the Supreme Court.

According to the police, the protesters set fire to two motorcycles, and vandalised cars and a police vehicle. A few policemen were injured in the incident.

The protesters have been demanding that the government hand over the plot of land in Tughlaqabad to the community and rebuild the temple.

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