23 Rajasthan Dalit leaders in jail for April 2 Bharat bandh violence released on bail
Twenty-three people from the scheduled caste (SC), who were in jail after being arrested for allegedly causing violence during the Bharat Bandh on April 2, were released on bail on Thursday. They received a hero’s welcome from the members of their community.
The 23 had got bail from the Rajasthan high court on Tuesday but the bail order reached the Barmer jail on Wednesday and they were then released later in the evening.
At the time of their release, hundreds of community members were present outside the jail and welcomed them with garlands. They also chanted slogans like ‘Bheem Ekta Jindabad’ and ‘Baba Saheb Jindabad’.
The SC community also organised a welcome march for the 23 Dalit leaders, which started from the jail and reached the community hall, where a welcome ceremony was organised. During the welcome ceremony, the leaders addressed the people and assured them that they will continue fighting for their rights.
On April 2, a nationwide bandh was called by Dalit organisations to protest against the Supreme Court’s ruling that they say dilutes the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The protests turned violent after the demonstrators clashed with law enforcement agencies.
Following the violence, police have lodged hundreds of cases against protestors in the state and arrested people allegedly involved in the violence.
In Barmer, a total of 17 cases have been registered in various police stations. Around 46 leaders were arrested in Barmer city while 62 were arrested in the district. All the accused were later produced before a court and were sent to judicial custody.
However, the accused have applied for bail twice in Barmer, first at the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) court and later at additional district and session court (ADJ), but it was denied. After which they applied for bail at the Rajasthan high court. During the first hearing, the court had ordered to hear the bail plea on May 1. During the hearing, 23 accused got bail and were released from the jail on Wednesday.