Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad, who was jailed under National Security Agency (NSA) charges in connection with 2017 Saharanpur caste violence case, was released from prison at 2:24 am on Friday, 14 September.

The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered the early release of Azad earlier in the day.

Two of Azad’s aides, whose jail term was till 14 October, will also be released with Azad.

The decision comes ahead of 2019 elections and is being seen as BJP’s Dalit outreach, the report further read.

Azad was first arrested for his alleged involvement in Saharanpur riots on 8 June 2017. On 2 November 2017 the Allahabad High Court granted him bail.
However, a day later, he was arrested again under the provisions of the NSA.

Why Is Bhim Army’s Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’ Still in Jail?

Azad filed a petition before the Allahabad High Court earlier this year, asking for the detention order to be quashed. In May, the high court dismissed his petition, finding no illegality in the detention order.

Saharanpur Violence Case

On 5 May, a Dalit group had objected to a procession of Thakurs in Shabbirpur to mark the birth anniversary of Rajput king Maharana Pratap, triggering violence, in which one person was killed and over 15 were injured.

Dalits say upper-caste Thakurs had earlier prevented them from installing a statue of BR Ambedkar in the premises of the Ravidas temple in the village.

Members of the Bhim Army, a Dalit group, had on 9 May torched a bus and set a number of two-wheelers afire after the administration had turned down their request to hold a mahapanchayat in Gandhi Park to demand compensation for those affected in the 5 May inter-caste clashes.

Bhim Army Leader’s Brother Shot Dead, Saharanpur Tense Again

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