#CAAProtests: Cops try detaining Bhim Army's Chandrashekhar Azad, he escapes
A short while ago, New Delhi's historic Jama Masjid witnessed dramatic scenes as Chandrashekhar Azad, the chief of the Bhim Army, led a massive protest against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, defying orders of police. He participated in the protest, which took place soon after Friday prayers. However, when police tried to take him into custody, protesters scooped him away. Here's what went down.
Backstory: Indians are protesting against new law on citizenship
Like other parts of India, the people of Delhi are also raising their voice against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, which will make it easier for persecuted non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to get Indian citizenship. The exclusion of Muslims has miffed many as they believe this law contradicts the secular fabric of India. Driven by this emotion, thousands are coming on the streets.
13 major cities came to a standstill yesterday
Notably, massive protests were held across 13 major cities, including Delhi, Bengaluru, yesterday. In Delhi, Red Fort and Mandi House became the epicenter of tensions and cops detained hundreds. In fact, for the first time, SMS, voice, and data services were suspended in the national capital. Anticipating trouble today as well, the administration took precautionary measures but couldn't stop agitation at Jama Masjid.
Despite orders, Azad said he would reach Jama Masjid
Earlier, Delhi Police denied permission to Azad to march from Jama Masjid towards Jantar Mantar. To note, since Thursday, Section 144, which bars the assembly of four or more people, has been imposed in the Red Fort area. Despite diktat from the police, Azad said he would reach the venue. "Please ignore the rumors of my arrest. I am reaching Jama Masjid," he tweeted.
Azad read Constitution's preamble, others joined him
Covering his face with a blue jacket, Azad arrived at the mosque, claimed reports. He held a copy of the Indian Constitution with one hand, and a picture of BR Ambedkar with another. Thereafter, he read out the preamble, with scores of protesters echoing his words. Soon, more and more people started emerging from the narrow lanes, and police appeared outnumbered.
Cops caught Azad, but couldn't take him to police van
Somehow, cops caught hold of Azad, but as they tried taking him to the police van, he slipped away. Meanwhile, DMRC issued a statement reading, "Of the 285 stations, Chawri Bazar,Lal Quila, Jama Masjid & Delhi Gate on violet line, Jaffrabad & Maujpur-Babarpur on pink line & Jamia Millia Islamia on magenta line are closed as per instructions of security agencies. (sic)"