Former AAP leader Yogendra Yadav and many fellow activists of Swaraj Abhiyan were arrested around 1 AM on 11 August from Jantar Mantar, where they held a protest rally demanding right to compensation for farmers.
No one knew about the rally and the cause it supported till the time dramatic images of Yadav being dragged and dumped in a police van emerged. Yadav said that he was "beaten up, manhandled, dragged, pushed and arrested at the Parliament street police station".
Sidelined for sometime, this was the first major event organised by Yadav after being expelled from Aam Aadmi Party, along with Prashant Bhushan in April this year.
Here are three reasons why Delhi Police's crack down on Yogendra Yadav's protests helps the activist and former AAP leader in reviving his political relevance.
The dramatic visuals of Yogenda Yadav being dragged and dumped in a police van has created a groundswell of sympathy for the academician and former AAP leader, so much so that even Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his friend turned foe condemned the way he was treated by the police.
Not one to miss an opportunity of making political capital out of bashing Delhi Police, forgetting past acrimony, the Chief Minister sent his aide Sanjay Singh to meet Yadav. Much to his embarrassment, Yadav's supporters chased him away.
Just in a day's work, Yadav not only was back on national television riding high on sympathy but was also able to snub Kejriwal months after he was expelled from AAP for indulging in "anti-party activities".
Bringing Swaraj Abhiyan into limelight
Earlier this year, when Yadav and Prashant Bhushan were still in the party trying to fight Kejriwal on several issues they decided that they would form a separate political party. Eventually, they ended up forming Swaraj Abhiyan -- a non-political forum to fight for the issues of farmers, women and children. The launch of the organisation hardly got any press coverage. Very few people turned up at the event.
However, after the police crackdown on Yadav and his supporters, the non-political outfit floated by Yadav is back in news.
At a press conference held after Yadav's arrest, co-founder of Swaraj Abhiyan and lawyer Prashant Bhushan said that one of the main demands of the their Jai Kisan Andolan was building a farmers' memorial at the land acquired by Delhi Race Course. Bhushan said that the land originally belonged to farmers and was taken from them in 1912 on the grounds of "public purpose". Their main grouse is that the club continues operate even though it's lease expired in 1998.
While Bhushan threatened to file a petition against police action in Delhi High Court, Bharatiya Kisan Union has extended its support to their Jai Kisan Andolan. It remains to be seen how well Bhushan and Yadav capitalize on the momentum generated from police action.