Tension prevailed in the Tughlakabad area in south Delhi after a protest by Dalits against the demolition of a Ravidas temple turned violent on Wednesday, prompting police to resort to "mild lathicharge" and use tear gas to disperse the crowd, an official said.
According to the police, the protesters set fire to two motorcycles and vandalised a police vehicle, causing injuries to a few policemen.
"Police lobbed tear gas shells and used mild lathicharge to disperse the crowd. We have detained a few persons," the senior official said.
The protesters turned violent during their march to the site of the temple demolished by the Delhi Development Authority on August 10 on the orders of the Supreme Court.
Dalit outfit Bhim Army claimed its chief Chandrashekhar Azad had been detained and that the police fired at the protesters.
Earlier in the day, thousands of Dalits, who trooped into Delhi from various parts of the country in buses and trains, marched from Ambedkar Bhawan in Jhandewalan to Ramlila Maidan in central Delhi, protesting the recent demolition of the temple in the Tughlakabad forest area.
Wearing blue caps and carrying flags, protesters of all age groups marched from Ambedkar Bhawan in Jhandewalan to the Ramlila Maidan. Traffic movement was affected in some parts of the city due to this.
Cries of 'Jai Bhim' rend the air as the protesters, who arrived from Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other states, demanded that the government hand over the plot of land to the community and rebuild the temple.