The Committee for the Defense of Bhim Army has issued the following statement against booking Bhim Army founder President Chandrashekhar Azad under National Security Act.
The Committee for the Defense of Bhim Army (CDBA) expresses it shock at the act of the Uttar Pradesh government and the Saharanpur district administration in slapping charges under the National Security Act on Bhim Army founder President Chandrashekhar.
It is telling that the NSA was slapped against Chandrashekhar after the Allahabad High Court gave him bail on 2 November after a long legal battle. The High Court had observed while granting bail to Chandrashekhar and three other Bhim Army activists that the charges were politically motivated.
It appears that the decision of the district administration to book Chandrashekhar under NSA was taken a long time back and the government and local administration were keeping their options open about when exactly to move in this direction.
Around 6-7 September, Chandrashekhar had already written about this in a hand-written letter from prison, addressed to his comrades, friends and well wishers of the Bhim Army. He had mentioned that he had learnt from sources in the jail that the administration (and state government) did not want him to fight for his bail, and if he did, they would book him under NSA. This information and Chandrashekhar’s letter was shared by the CDBA in its press conference held in Press Club, in New Delhi on 12 September 2017.
The decision to invoke the NSA now, immediately after Chandrashekhar and others were granted bail by the High Court proves that the information put out by Chandrashekhar in early September was correct and that the decision is mala fide.
We consider that the UP government and the district administration is invoking the NSA to delay, if not actually circumvent the judicial process and thus keep Chandrashekhar in prison as long as possible – even though they know that these charges cannot be sustained in the court of law.
This step by the Yogi Adityanath government, we believe, is in keeping with its consistently anti-Dalit attitude and its attempts to keep its upper caste support intact. The increasing attacks on Dalits with complete impunity has, in fact, now become a hallmark of BJP governments everywhere in the country.
The Committee for the Defense of Bhim Army calls upon all democratic forces to raise their voice against this monstrous decision to frame Chandrashekhar. The attack on Bhim Army and Chandrashekhar and his comrades is an attack on the very principles of democracy and the rule of law and it is of utmost importance that voices across the board join in opposing this act of the UP government and its Saharanpur district administration.