AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL INDIA Global Call to all Dalit networks, Human & Democratic Rights Groups/ Civil Society Groups across the world for global campaign to
Release Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’ – A Leader of Bhim Army
It’s now been more than a year since Bhim Army leader, Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan has been detained in Saharanpur Jail. He is being kept in jail under the draconian National Security Act (NSA) which allows for the state to detain people without charge or trial for up to a year.
Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan and Bhim Army has been fighting against caste-based discrimination through the use of education in North India. Their 300 plus educational centres are empowering children to face their future with confidence and strength.
But as you know, challenging the existing caste-based norms is very difficult. Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan is now bearing the brunt of a state that doesn’t want to engage with Dalit leaders. Instead of listening to what Bhim Army has to say, their members have been arrested and beaten up in jails. Unsubstantiated charges have been filed against their leaders.
So much so that the Allahabad High Court in November 2017 said the charges against Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan looks to be politically motivated. Although the High Court granted him bail in November 2017 state arrested him immediately after, under NSA. Since then he continues to lead the struggle for the emancipation of dalit people, from the Saharanpur jail.
I write this mail asking you to support Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan, Bhim Army and all the Dalit leaders and protestors who have been jailed for protesting peacefully. Your support will remind the government that the world is watching how India treats its marginalised communities.
For this We urge you to join our campaign and take action, by organising solidarity events on September 28, 2018 in your cities. To ensure that your voices are heard by the Indian government, you can arrange solidarity gatherings outside the Indian embassy in your country.
If you are able to organise events, we will be grateful if you could participate in this campaign and encourage others to show their support. Since Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan’s NSA detention ends in November, it is crucial to build pressure both from within India and around the world on the Uttar Pradesh government to not detain, intimidate and harass the Bhim Army leader, and release Dalit protestors who have been arrested for protesting peacefully.
Arun Khote from PMARC and Sanjeev Mathur from Bhim Army have been a pillar of strength to shape this campaign. We will be sending a detailed campaign activity sheet which will help you to organise the solidarity events on September 28.
Looking forward to your support
Note: To register your support and participate in the global solidarity event, please contact:
Abhirr VP, Amnesty International India
Arun Khote, PMARC
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mob: 8318843391
Sanjeev Mathur, Bhim Army
Email: email@example.com, Mob : 971111459