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'UP govt responsible': Deadly attack on Bhim Army chief, custodial death of Dalit boys

By Our Representative 

Asserting that the Uttar Pradesh government should take responsibility for the attack on well-known Dalit leader Chandrashekhar Azad and the suspicious death of Dalit boys in Sultanpur Jail, People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), UP, has said that the "life-threatening attack" on the Bhim Army chief on June 29 in Deoband runs contrary to the UP chief minister claim that "the state has become free of mafia and crime".
In a statement, PUCL said, "Prior to this incident, on June 28, there was news of the suspicious death of two Dalit boys locked up in the Sultanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. The jail administration is calling these deaths as suicides, but the two deaths inside the jail, i.e. in judicial custody, raise questions on the government machinery."
Demanding a high level independent inquiry into the two incidents, PUCL said, "The weapon used and the manner in which Chandrashekhar Azad was attacked, suggests that it was done with the intention of killing him", insisting, the two incidents show "the criminals have no fear from the Uttar Pradesh government."
Stating that the attack on the Dalit leader took place took place following the murder of Ateeq Ahmed and Ashraf, who were shot dead publicly by criminals while they were in police custody, PUCL said, what was shocking was, "The custodial accused Jeeva, who was brought in police custody in a crowded court in Lucknow, was also shot dead."
Pointing out that "all this is a sample of the worst law and order situation in UP" and "failure of the administration", PUCL noted, Azad, who narrowly escaped in the attack, is "a young leader of the deprived and progressive sections not only of Uttar Pradesh but at the national level", who raises voice against the oppression and atrocities on the deprived, exploited, Dalits, farmers, toiling people and women.
Added PUCL, "For almost a decade, he is in favour of a militant struggle in favour of the Constitutional rights of the common people. Whether it is the case of rape and murder of a Dalit girl in Hathras or the recent case of sexual violence by women wrestlers, the Dalit leader and his organisation raised their voice "against the feudal, powerful and political leaders of the society and the government."
Commenting on the death of the two Dalit boys, 19-year-old Manoj Raidas and 20-year-old Vijay Pasi alias Kariya, lodged in Sultanpur jail, PUCL said, the jail superintendent claimed both of them were found hanging on the tree behind the barrack. "But because these deaths have taken place in the judicial custody, they raise many questions and are highly suspicious, holding the jail administration responsible for this", it objected.
Both the boys were brought to jail on May 30 in connection with a murder case of Amethi.



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