Hundreds protest in Delhi demanding Bhim Army chief’s release

New Delhi: Hundreds of activists on Friday held a demonstration here demanding the immediate release of Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad, who was arrested during the anti-CAA protest at Jama Masjid last week.

The protest was organised by the Anjuman-e-Haideri and Bhim Army workers from Dargah Shah-e-mardan in south Delhi’s upscale Jor Bagh area.

The protesters started their march from the Dargah towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg.

However, they were stopped before the Jor Bagh metro station by the Delhi Police.

The protesters holding the national flag, photographs of B.R. Ambedkar and Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad raised slogans against the Modi government and demanded Azad’s release. They also tied a black ribbon on their wrists as a mark of protest.

Azad was arrested in connection with the violence in Old Delhi’s Daryaganj on December 21, a day after his outfit had organised a march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar.

The protest on Friday was also attended by former Minority Commission chairperson Wajahat Habibullah.

Speaking to IANS, Habibullah said, “The government is saying that the NRC and the CAA are different from each other. But the way rules have been framed it is clear that both are the same.”

“And it is trying to divide the people of the country on religious lines,” the former Chairman said.

He said this is also against the Constitution of the country. “As a citizen of the country, it is our duty to save the Constitution,” he said.

Syed Bahadur Abbas Naqvi, General Secretary of the Anjuman-e-Haideri told IANS, “The SC/ST leader Azad was arrested from Jama Masjid area. We are demanding his immediate release.”

Naqvi alleged that RSS volunteers were allowed to intrude into the protests in Uttar Pradesh to cause large scale damage to public property. He said: “We have seen how the people of the RSS were allowed to intrude among the protesters so that they can indulge in arson and we the peaceful protesters are given a bad name.”

“That is the reason why we are protesting by tying our hands,” he added.

Delhi Police Joint Commissioner (Southern Range) D.C. Srivastava told IANS that adequate arrangements have been made to ensure that law and order is maintained.

“We had earlier held talks with the Aman committees of all the areas and we also appealed to the people to maintain peace,” Srivastava said.

“We halted the protesters before the Jor Bagh metro station and they are now giving their speeches here and after some time they will leave. We even ensured that the traffic remains normal in the area,” he added.

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