UP okays premature release of 'Bhim Sena' chief

Lucknow : The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday cleared the premature release of Bhim Sena chief Chandra Shekhar aka Ravana from the prison, an official said.

The official release of the Bhim Sena chief, arrested under the National Security Act (NSA) for his role in 2017 caste conflict in Saharanpur, was due on November 1 this year.

Two of his accomplices have already been released before their jail term was to end in November.

With this, all accused held under the NSA in the May 2017 caste conflict have been set free.

The state government has directed the Saharanpur district magistrate for the release of the Bhim Sena chief and two of his aides, principal secretary Arvind Kumar said.

The decision for the premature release of the Bhim Sena chief is based on a request made through a representation by his mother, Kumar said.

The BJP government has also decided to set free, also before time, two accomplices of the Bhim Sena chief - Sonu and Shiv Kumar. They were to be released on November 14 this year.

Three other associates of Ravana were released on September 7 this year.

In the May 5, 2017 caste clash involving Rajputs and Dalits, a police station was set afire and 20 vehicles were burnt down. The violence had continued for many days.

The Bhim Sena chief is an advocate by profession. He formed the pro-Dalit Bhim Army Bharat Ekta Mission in July 2015. Hundreds of Dalit youths were attracted to his outfit.