Bhim Army to hold protest on April 18, court mass arrest

New Delhi (PTI): Alleging atrocities against Dalits have increased since the ‘Bharat Bandh’, the Bhim Army said on April 7 that it will hold a peaceful protest in Delhi on April 18 during which the demonstrators would “court mass arrest”. At a press conference in New Delhi, the Dalit emancipation group’s national president, Vinay Ratan Singh, and its members demanded that the people from the community held by the police in connection with the April 2 incident be released. “We are also demanding that a judicial probe be ordered into the incident and anti-social elements who infiltrated into Dalit groups during the protests be brought to book,” Singh said.
The Bhim Army leader alleged that the country would face a “civil war-like situation” if the government did not step up and took actions to stem caste-related violence. “So, we are going to hold a protest on Parliament Street on April 18. And, all those people who are facing persecution or false cases will assemble and court mass arrest. We even invite all those who advocate justice to join us,” Singh told reporters.
Asked how many people are likely to join the protest, he claimed that “people will come from different states in big numbers”. “We are not going to offer any resistance, and we all would be coming prepared to face even a hail of bullets. We will be coming prepared knowing that we may not return alive,” he said. Bhim Army’s Delhi unit convener Sujit Samrat said that BJP lawmakers were now writing to the government about “Dalits being targeted by the police, pulled out of their homes and beaten”.
Singh said the Dalit community was oppressed for centuries, “but we still do not want to take the route of violent retaliation”. “If we also do the way the other side has been doing, our country will be plunged into a civil war-like situation, and the very idea of India will cease to exist,” he said, alleging violence against Dalits after the April 2 bandh had increased.

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