Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad on Friday (January 17) visited the historic Jama Masjid, hours after being released from Tihar Jail, and joined the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters there.
Azad was arrested on December 21 in connection with violence during anti-CAA protests in Delhi’s Daryaganj area. A Delhi court granted him bail on January 15 but restrained him from visiting Delhi for four weeks. He was released on bail Thursday night.
The court also directed him not to hold any dharna in the national capital till the assembly elections. However, Judge Kamini Lau said that before leaving Delhi, if Azad wants to go anywhere, including Jama Masjid in Delhi in 24 hours, police will escort him there.
Hours after his release, Azad, 33, reached the Jama Masjid. Swarmed by his supporters and locals, Azad, with his trademark blue ‘safaa’, read out the Preamble to the Constitution. Calling for repeal of the CAA, which he termed as a “black act”, he said nothing is bigger than keeping the country together.
At Jama Masjid, Azad also lauded women participating in the anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh, Jamia Millia Islamia and other parts of the country.
“This (anti CAA) movement is for the future of this country, for our identity and to uphold the Constitution. It is our responsibility to strengthen it,” he said.
Azad said it is the fundamental duty of citizens to protect the Constitution and also urged people to carry out peaceful protests against the CAA. The Bhim Army chief will also visit the Karbala at Jor Bagh and Bangla Sahib Gurudwara.
During his bail hearing, the court had also criticised the Delhi Police and asserted it is one’s constitutional right to protest. It had also observed that Delhi Police was behaving “as if Jama Masjid was Pakistan”.
(With inputs from agencies)