Today in New Delhi, Bhim Army’s Chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad escaped the police custody and led a big protest in the Jama Masjid against the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 (CAA). He was detained along with many of his supporters when they led a protest against CAA in which Azad chanted slogans and waved flags standing on the steps or historic and famous Jama Masjid.
Chandra Shekhar Aazad managed to dodge the policemen and then suddenly surfaced inside the Jama Masjid right after the Jumma or Jumu’ah (Prayers). He held a copy of Indian Constitution in one hand and photo of B R Ambedkar in another, soon after this he was detained.
When Chandra Shekhar Aazad asked permission from the Delhi Police to march in protest against the Citizenship Act (CAA) from the Jama Masjid in old Delhi to Jantar Mantar, in the city centre, however, he was not given the permission following many protests turning violent in various parts of India. Although this did not stop him, he tweeted “Please ignore the rumours floating about my arrest. I am reaching Jama Masjid” in hindi.
कृपया मेरी गिरफ्तारी की अफवाहों पर ध्यान न दें।— Chandra Shekhar Aazad (@BhimArmyChief) December 20, 2019
मैं जामा मस्जिद पहुंच रहा हूँ।
Slogans of “Jai Bhim” were chanted from the steps of the historic mosque, Jama Masjid, as Aazad emerged on the steps with his face covered with a blue hoodie. Groups of police personnel were seen preparing to push-back the protesters, however, stayed on the other side of the gates of the mosque, observing the crowd. Drones were deployed by the police to keep an eye on the protesters and their increasing numbers.
Chandra Shekhar Aazad who is 31 years old, read the preamble of the Indian Constitution out loud with the protesters chanting it with him. Protesters, hundreds in number, then came out on road, shouting slogans and wearing black bands in protest against the CAA.
In no time the narrow streets of old Delhi near and around the Jama Masjid were filled with in anti-CAA protest with protesters holding placards and carrying flags.
The police were preparing themselves for a potential protest, however, the sheer number of protesters completely outnumbered them. Policemen then engaged with the religious leaders asking them to get and try the situation under control. Police finally got hold of Aazad, and were seen holding him by the collar as they were taking him into the custody.
Though, as the police were about to put in into their vehicle, Aazad slipped away, he simply joined the crowd and vanished within seconds. Yesterday, number of protesters were detained just a kilometre away, near the Red Fort, protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019. Following this Section 144 was imposed near the Red Fort area, but was soon lifted so people can engage in Jumma at the Jama Masjid today (Friday).
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019, will make it easier for people belonging to non-Muslims minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Nonetheless, the opposition parties, activists, celebrities, and even students can be seen protesting against CAA, claiming it discriminates on the basis of religion and is contrary to constitutional principles of secularism and equality.