The CPIML strongly condemns the vengeful arrest and police assault on Comrade Arjun Lal, CPIML State Committee member of Uttar Pradesh, on August 14th, 2022 at the Hargaon Police Station in Uttar Pradesh. Com. Arjun, along with the people from the Dalit community who experienced caste violence went to the police station to lodge an FIR against the members of the dominant castes of Rikhipurwa village on August 14th. As soon they reached the police station, a few police personnel brutally attacked Com. Arjun and dragged him to the lock-up, while the villagers who were with him were also arrested and put behind bars.
This is a clear case of vendetta by the Station Officer (SO) of Hargaon police station, who in July 2022, had abused Com. Arjun with casteist slurs and had threatened him during a dharna held against the bias of the police in initiating action in another case of violence. After this Arjun Lal had been demanding strict action against the SO under the SC/ST Act.
CPIML State Secretary Sudhakar Yadav condemning the arrest, said that “The arrest of Comrade Arjun Lal is a reflection of the rule of terror and police state in Uttar Pradesh, which has the sanction of the Chief Minister Yogi as also the BJP. The brutal police action on the eve of Independence Day brought terror into the minds of the local people.”
When AIPWA leader Comrade Sarojini and others demanded the release of Comrade Arjun Lal, they were also detained by the police.
CPIML observed August 16th as state-wide protest day in Uttar Pradesh against the brutal assault by the dominant caste sections on the Dalit community in Hargaon and against the arrest of Comrade Arjun Lal and others.
As CPIML continues to fight for dignity and justice for the Dalit communities who continue to face caste-oppression, demanding justice, the criminal police-feudal nexus is attempting to create an atmosphere of terror. On August 18th, a statue of Dr. BR Ambedkar was found decapitated in Hargaon. CPIML condemns such act of hatred and demands authorities to ensure protection for the Dalit community and to initiate action against the culprits.
CPIML has demanded that:
1. Party leader Arjun Lal and others jailed should be released immediately and unconditionally, as also the false FIR registered against them should be withdrawn.
2. Hargaon police have created a false narrative, therefore an impartial and high-level inquiry should be conducted into the entire incident and strictest action should be taken against the guilty police personnel.
3. The Hargaon police station SO should be suspended with immediate effect and strict action should be initiated against him. Other police personnel implicated in the incident should also be removed immediately from their posts.
4. End the oppression against Dalit community. Punish the culprits who attacked the Dalit community on August 14th and destroyed Dr. BR Ambedkar’s statue on August 18th.
5. The brutal attack against Dalits happened under the watch of Sitapur SP GS Chandrabhan, who was awarded the DGP platinum medal award on Independence Day. We demand that this medal be taken back from him.