Dalit activist, eight others get bail in Gorakhpur commissioner office violence case

A Gorakhpur court on Saturday granted bail to Gorakhpur-based Ambedkar Jan Morcha convener and Dalit activist Shravan Kumar Nirala, former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer S.R. Darapuri and seven others in connection with a case of alleged vandalism at the Gorakhpur Divisional Commissioner’s office on October 10. “The court granted bail to nine persons, including my brother. It is the victory of truth and our faith in judiciary has been strengthened. The false charges and narrative are exposed. The nine persons are likely to come out of jail on Monday, as the process of verifying bail sureties may take some time,” Adarsh Nirala, the brother of Dalit right’s group convener, told The Hindu.

The Ambedkar Jan Morcha, which works among Dalit and other marginalised sections in eastern Uttar Pradesh, held a demonstration ‘Dera dalo, Ghera dalo andolan’ on October 10 outside the Divisional Commissioner’s office demanding one acre land for the landless people, like, what they claim, was promised by Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao in Telangana to purchase and distribute three acres of land to each Dalit family to make a living. The Gorakhpur police registered a case of assault and threat against 13 activists and 10-15 unnamed persons on a complaint by a Divisional Commissioner office staff Rajesh Kumar Verma and booked the accused for unlawful assembly, vandalising official property etc.

French national held

Apart from the Dalit rights group convener and former IPS officer Mr. Darapuri, lawyer Jai Bhim Prakash, Rishi Kapoor Anand, independent journalist Neelam Baudh, writer Siddharth Ramu, and three YouTubers were arrested. A French national, Heinold Valentine Jean Roger, who was at the protest site filming videos of demonstration was also arrested on charges of violating provisions of The Foreigners Act, 1946. The French national is still to get bail.

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