The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that charges under the National Security Act have been withdrawn against Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, PTI reported. Azad, who was arrested in connection with the 2017 violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur, was released on September 14.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud disposed of a plea filed by Azad challenging the invocation of stringent provisions under the National Security Act, saying it has now become infructuous.
The Uttar Pradesh government last week said the decision to release Azad was taken on sympathetic grounds in view of representations by his mother and the “current situation”.
After his release from jail, Azad said the government had ordered his release as they were scared that the Supreme Court would rebuke them for putting him in jail.
Several incidents of caste violence were reported from Saharanpur district in May 2017. On May 23, one person was killed and at least two others were injured in clashes. In June 2017, the Uttar Pradesh Police arrested Azad in connection with the violence.
On November 2, 2017, the Allahabad High Court granted Azad and three others bail saying the charges against them were politically motivated. A day later, the Uttar Pradesh government invoked the National Security Act against the Dalit leader and five others.