Bhim Army, which was being hailed as the voice of Dalits in western Uttar Pradesh, has split into two factions after internal discord, as per reports.
A section expressed doubts in the leadership of Chandrashekhar alias Ravan, the president of Bhim Army, and constituted Bhim Army 2 on the lines of Bhim Army under the leadership of Lokesh Kataria.
Founder of Bhim Army 2, Shiva Gautam, has levelled serious allegations against Bhim Army president Chandrashekhar. He said, “Chandrasekhar is no longer a voice of Dalits. He has made a secret agreement with the BJP government in the state, that is why, in the violence of Saharanpur and Muzaffarnagar during the Bharat bandh, he made no efforts to get the innocent Dalit leaders and activists released from jail.”
“Lokesh Katariya has been appointed as the national president of Bhim Army 2. Recently a memorandum has been given to the District Magistrate for the release of innocent prisoners lodged in jail, and a major agitation will be made soon,” he added.
The news of discord had surfaced a few months ago, reportedly, due to Chandrashekhar’s proximity to the Congress. The Army Chief had, thereafter, released a video mobilising the crowds at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi on June 18 to show solidarity.
It is alleged that the National President of the Army had given the statement that he had nothing to do with the April 2 agitation. When the Bhim Army members got trapped, he did not even meet them and lied that the administration is not permitting Chandrashekhar to meet them in Muzaffarnagar.
Bhim Army was founded by Chandrashekhar around three years ago in Saharanpur. Chandrashekhar was jailed under the (National Security Act) NSA charges in connection with the 2017 Saharanpur caste violence case.