Bhim Army chief walks out of jail

The New Indian Express - - INDIA - NAMITA BAJPAI

THE Ut­tar Pradesh gov­ern­ment freed Bhim Army founder Chan­drashekhar Azad alias Ra­van in the wee hours from a Sa­ha­ran­pur jail on Fri­day, nearly two months prior to his sched­uled re­lease on Novem­ber 1.

Ac­cord­ing to highly placed sources, the Sa­ha­ran­pur dis­trict mag­is­trate was di­rected by the Home depart­ment to re­lease Chan­drashekhar, who was ac­corded a warm wel­come by his sup­port­ers out­side the jail. The Dalit leader was es­corted in a po­lice ve­hi­cle which was fol­lowed by his sup­port­ers on bikes.

No­tably, Azad was ar­rested at

Dal­housie, Hi­machal Pradesh in June last year. He was ar­rested af­ter caste clashes in western Ut­tar Pradesh’s Sa­ha­ran­pur, which left at least two per­sons dead and

many in­jured. Af­ter his ar­rest on charges of in­cit­ing vi­o­lence and ri­ot­ing, the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Act was also in­voked against him and five of his ac­com­plices.

In a me­dia re­lease on Thurs­day night, the Home depart­ment claimed that the de­ci­sion for early re­lease was taken in view of re­peated pleas of his ail­ing mother and the changed cir­cum­stances. Two of Azad’s aides, whose jail terms were till Oc­to­ber 14, will also be re­leased early, it said.

Ac­cord­ing to sources, le­gal aides and top lead­ers of Bhim Army were con­tacted by the UP gov­ern­ment on Thurs­day af­ter­noon and given the in­for­ma­tion about his early re­lease.

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