Dalit inmates at Tihar on hunger strike

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They were denied permission to observe Valmiki Jayanti

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and scores of Dalits lodged in Tihar Central Jail on Sunday sat on a hunger strike protesting against the authorities who allegedly denied them permission to observe Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti. However, jail authorities denied the allegations and said they were granted permission to observe Valmiki Jayanti. They also performed ‘hawan’ and distributed sweets.

The Dalit group threatened to gherao Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on Monday on the issue.

Bhim Army spokesperson Kush Ambedkarwadi said scores of Dalit inmates in Tihar had on Saturday demanded that the jail authorities provide them a poster of Maharishi Valmiki to offer tributes on the occasion.

“The jail authorities didn’t give us a poster. Hundreds of Dalit men lodged along with Chandrashekhar Azad have proceeded on a hunger strike against this,” he said.

“It’s a violation of our Fundamental Rights. What’s more disappointing is that Delhi Jail Minister Satyendar Jain and Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam have been keeping mum,” he claimed.

A tweet from Mr. Azad’s read: “The Bhim Army will gherao the residence of Kejriwal if he failed to make arrangements to observe Valmiki Jayanti in Tihar Jail.”

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