Hours after being released from jail, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad said he will ensure that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is routed in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Azad was arrested from Himachal Pradesh's Dalhousie in June last year in connection with the May 5 caste violence in which one person was killed and 16 others were injured at Shabbirpur village in Saharanpur.
The Allahabad High Court had granted him bail on November 2, 2017.
However, police booked him under the stringent National Security Act days before his release. Under the NSA, he was to be detained till November 1.
"After going through the representation of Chandrashekhar's mother, it has been decided to release him early. He had to be in jail till November 1," a spokesperson of the Uttar Pradesh government's Home Department had said in Lucknow on Thursday.
Azad walked out of the jail at around 2:40 am as hundreds of his supporters wearing blue 'Bhim Army' caps had gathered outside the prison to celebrate his release, the Dalit group's national spokesperson Manjeet Singh Nautiyal said.
Many had thronged his residence and distributed sweets in the neighbourhood while a section of his admirers made a beeline to click a selfie with the Dalit leader.
"The Bhim Army will not buckle under pressure from the government and will fight in a constitutional manner to throw the BJP out of power in the general elections," Azad said.