Dalit rights activists clashed with police at a demonstration in New Delhi on Wednesday, August 21, where several thousand people had marched in the capital to protest the demolition of the Ravidas Mandir temple. The protest turned violent around 19:30 (local time) after police forces prevented protesters from approaching the temple in the Tughlakabad area, according to local media outlets. Significant traffic disruptions were reported in the capital for several hours during the fighting. The police reportedly used tear gas to disperse the protesters, and both police and protesters have reported injuries. Several vehicles were reportedly damaged, and two motorcycles belonging to police were set alight. Authorities detained several activists including leaders from the organizing group, Bhim Army.
A heightened security presence is expected in the area in the coming hours. Further protests cannot be ruled out in the near-term.
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) demolished a Dalit temple on August 10 following an order by the Supreme Court. Dalit rights activists held related protests in New Delhi on August 13 and August 21.
Individuals in New Delhi are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate a heightened security presence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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