Hyderabad, Jan 27 : The whereabouts of Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar Azad, who was arrested on way to address a public meeting in the city against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, were not known till late Sunday, causing concern among his followers.
Few supporters of the Dalit leader were detained when they went to Hyderabad police commissioner’s office and tried to stage a protest demanding to know his whereabouts.
Azad was in Hyderabad to attend two meetings against the CAA, organised by alumni of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and All India Dalit Muslim Adivasi Progressive Front (AIDMPAF).
Azad and lawyer Mehmood Pracha were detained after they stepped out of a hotel in Masab Tank to go to the public meeting venue at Mehdipatnam.
They were shifted from one police station to the other and some supporters following the police vehicle lost track of it. Though there were reports that they were taken to Bolarum or Medchal police stations, his supporters did not find him there.
Azad’s supporters took to the social media to condemn his arrest and demanded his immediate release. #FreeBhimArmyChief was one of the top trends on Twitter. Some of his followers tweeted that he may be taken to the airport and sent back to Delhi.
As the police had denied permission for the public meeting, it took Azad and others accompanying him into custody and shifted them to various police stations.
The Dalit leader was on his way to Crystal Garden Mehdipatnam to address the meet. AThe programme ‘Celebrating Republic Day with Azad’ was organized by
The Bhim Army chief was initially taken to Habeebnagar police station but when his supporters started reached there to lodge their protest, he was shifted to Bolaram police station on the city outskirts. Others were taken to Goshamahal police station.
Earlier, the police had started detaining the activists of AIDMPAF and other supporters of Azad reaching the venue. It dispersed many others who came to attend the meet.
Large number of police personnel were deployed near the venue since morning to foil any attempt to hold the meeting.
Wahdat-e-Islami leader Moulana Naseeruddin, who had also reached the venue, condemned the police action. He alleged that the police was muzzling the voice of democracy and committing ‘excesses’ on those trying to protest peacefully against the CAA, NRC and NPR.
A public meeting at the same venue, scheduled to be addressed by former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar on January 13, had to be cancelled as the police had denied permission for it.
Azad’s detention came 10 days after his release on bail from Tihar Jail. He was arrested by Delhi police on December 20 on charges of inciting people during anti-CAA protest. He was held when he tried to take out a march from Jamia Masjid to Jantar Mantar.