Meet to have focussed on growing atrocities on Dalits in UP.
Lucknow: After forcing at least 45 Dalits detrain in Jhansi with a 125-kg soap bar they were going to present to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, the state government on Monday also cancelled a conclave of Dalit organisations scheduled to be held in Lucknow.
Retired IPS officer S.R. Darapuri and 30 members supporting the Dalit conclave were arrested from the UP Press Club where the convention and a press conference was scheduled to be held.
The police also laid raided Nehru Yuvak Kendra where at least two dozen Dalit delegates from Dalit Adhikar Manch in Chitrakoot had been put up after arriving in the capital to attend the Dalit convention.
ADG (Law and Order) Aditya Misra said that these were all preventive measures as there were reports of a possible law and order problem in Lucknow.
“You know there is a background to this,” the ADG said.
The 45-member Dalit delegation from Gujarat, comprising representatives from at least half a dozen Dalit organisations, led by Navsarjan Trust, were on their way to Lucknow to present the 125-kg soap bar to the chief minister.
This was planned in protest against the local officials in Kushinagar giving Dalits shampoos and soaps so that they could “clean” themselves before their meeting with chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
The entire delegation was made to get off the Sabarmati Express in Jhansi on Sunday night and return to Ahmadabad.
IPS officer (retired) S.R. Darapuri, the convenor of the proposed Lucknow Dalit convention, said, “The Gujarat delegation was told to ensure their safety, the administration would arrange to send them to Lucknow but they were sent back instead.”
The delegation members sat on a dharna at the Jhansi railway platform and informed their colleagues in Lucknow about the ordeal.
Mr Darapuri said that the police told them there were “orders from above” to send them back to Ahmadabad, and under no circumstances, would they be allowed to reach Lucknow.
“Early on Monday morning, the police forcibly made them board a general compartment of Saurashtra Express for their return journey to Gujarat,” Mr Darapuri told reporters.
In a related development, the Indigo flight bringing the founder of Navsarjan Trust and Dalit human rights activist, Martin Macwan, to Lucknow for the Dalit convention was also cancelled at Ahmadabad airport, this morning.
Mr Macwan told reporters on phone that after waiting in the flight for an hour, it was announced that the flight had been cancelled as the runway was under maintenance. The proposed meeting was scheduled to discuss the growing atrocities on Dalits in UP with special emphasis on the Saharanpur clashes.