Sexual Assault Survivor Attacked With Acid For Fifth Time

Sexual Assault Survivor Attacked With Acid For Fifth Time

By Our RepresentativeThe Uttar Pradesh government has barred well-known Dalit rights activists Ram Kumar and SR Darapuri to hold a press meet at the UP Press Club in Lucknow.

The activists were released at around 4 pm on Monday, two hours after the scheduled time of the press conference. They wanted to gift the giant soap to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to "cleanse his mentality towards Dalits". This created much hue and cry among civil society activists, who viewed UP police's action as a direct attack on basic civil liberties.

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 first was in protest against soaps given to Dalits last month by the Kushinagar authorities to bathe themselves for Adityanaths visit, the second is a two day meeting and march to observe the first anniversary of the stripping and flogging of Dalit youth at Una.

Meanwhile, the 50 Dalit protesters stopped at Jhansi were not given a reason by the police, but said it was for security reasons. The organisers were supposed to talk about "atrocities agaisnt Dalits".

The odd fact is that activists were arrested on the mere suspicion of planning protest against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.

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Darapuri had gathered near the UP Press Club, he added. Around eight of us were arrested and later around evening we were freed.

They have all been charged with Section 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which gives police the power to arrest anyone to prevent commission of cognisable offences.
A large posse of policemen was seen waiting at the UP Press Club since morning. When we argued we had taken all the required permissions, the police told us that we did not have permission by the UP government to organise the event. He said very categorically, "attacks on Dalits and Muslims have gone up, gau-rakshaks are enjoying protection from the government".

"Since when do citizens of India need a permission from the governments to speak freely or hold a seminar?"

However, the Lucknow police also detained nine activists who attempted to host the press conference at another venue. The protesters, from the Dr Ambedkar Vechan Pratibandh Samiti, had left Gujarat on Saturday night and were heading to Lucknow with the intention of handing over the 125-kg soap to Adityanath.

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