The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on a plea by Dalit leader Chandrasekhar aka Ravana challenging his detention by the state government. Bhim Army chief was arrested in June 2017  in connection with the Saharanpur protests. Azad was arrested by a special task force of the Uttar Pradesh police from Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh in the same year in June and is still behind bars. 

Why is Azad still behind bars? 

Chandrashekhar Azad was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court in November 2017 but the Yogi Adityanath led-Uttar Pradesh government invoked the National Security Act (NSA) against him to keep him behind the bars. The NSA has been renewed twice, meaning Azad will remain in preventive detention till at least the end of August 2018.

Detention challenged in High Court

Earlier this year, Azad challenged his detention in Allahabad High Court, but in May, his plea was dismissed with the court finding no illegality in detention order. “The action taken by the concerned authorities is absolutely in accordance with the provisions of the National Security Act,” Justice Ramesh Sinha and DK Singh were quoted by The Quint as saying.

When the High Court upheld the NSA order, Bhim Army chief had petitioned in the Supreme Court, where his plea currently being heard.

Is the detention valid?

Many members of the civil society have come out against the detention of Azad. activist Teesta Setalvad, filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, Prakash Reddy of the CPI are among the many who have signed a statement demanding the release of Chandrashekhar, underlying the Allahabad High Court’s observation that pointed towards political motivation behind the arrest of the leader in the Saharanpur protest.