A score of Dalit men lodged in Tihar jail along with the chief of Bhim Army, Chandrashekhar Azad, sat on a hunger strike to protest against the jail authorities. The men alleged that the jail authorities denied them permission to observe Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti. The Dalit group threatened to gherao the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday on the issue.

Kush Ambedkarwadi, Bhim Army spokesperson said that scores of Dalit inmates in the Tihar jail, had on Saturday demanded the jail authorities to provide them a poster of Maharishi Valmiki to offer tributes on the occasion.

“The jail authorities didn’t give us a poster. Hundreds of Dalit men lodged along with Chandrashekhar Azad have proceeded on a hunger strike against this,” he said.

“It’s a violation of our fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution. What’s more disappointing is that Delhi Jail Minister Satyendar Jain and Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam, who has been vocal on Dalit issues, have been keeping mum,” Kush claimed.

Chandrashekhar Azad Tweeted, “the Bhim Army will gherao the resident of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal if he failed to make arrangements to observe Valmiki Jayanti in the Tihar Jail”.