A group of about half a dozen citizens has been arrested in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh for organising a march to Delhi, Satyagrah reported. The march, called “citizens’ satyagraha march”, had started from Chauri Chaura near Gorakhpur and was supposed to end at Rajghat in the national capital.
Chauri Chaura was the town where on February 5, 1922, protestors set a police station on fire, forcing Mahatma Gandhi to call off the non-cooperation movement, citing his principle of nonviolence. Participants of the march said this was their inspiration behind starting the march from the town. They said it was the day that set the tone for a free India where there would be no place for violence, even if the opponent was a tyrant or an enemy.
Journalist Pradeepika Saraswat, the only woman member of the group of six to seven people, told Satyagrah before her arrest that the police had been roaming around them for a few days before taking them into custody. They were also being questioned about the march, she said. Saraswat’s last Twitter post was on Monday evening.
Saraswat also wrote on Facebook: “The state is so scared that it is not able to see a bunch of people talking about peace and harmony.” She had been posting updates from the march on social media.
The Ghazipur (Sadar) sub-divisional magistrate told Satyagrah that those who were arrested did not have permission for the march. When asked what was the problem with a march involving just six people, the SDM said they had been arrested for now, and further action would be taken after investigation.