Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad surfaced at the Jama Masjid in Delhi today, dramatically defying a ban on protests amidst heavy police presence. Azad was seen holding up a copy of the preamble of the constitution along with posters of BR Ambedkar as he led his supporters in a protest inside the gates of the Jama Masjid just after Friday prayers.
As per reports, Delhi Police had detained Azad first near Jama Masjid, but he managed to slip away. Later he was detained near Daryaganj.
The Delhi Police had denied permission to Chandrashekhar Azad’s protest march against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar. Reports say that thousands of Muslims gathered at Jama Masjid after the Friday prayers, joined by Bhim Army members.
#WATCH Delhi: Protest at Jama Masjid against #CitizenshipAmendmentAct Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad also present. Azad had been earlier denied permission for a protest march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar pic.twitter.com/uXK1tvO4CT
— ANI (@ANI) December 20, 2019
Informing that the Bhim Army has been given permission to hold their proposed protest at Jantar Mantar and not in Jama Masjid area, Delhi Police PRO MS Randhawa said that as long as these protests are being conducted at designated areas, Delhi police will not interfere but if protestors start thronging into other locations then necessary action will be taken.
The Delhi Police PRO restated that organisers seeking permission to hold protests should apply for only the designated locations. “If they hold protests in non-designated areas then it will cause public disturbance and affect emergency services”, said MS Randhawa.
Prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144 are in place near the Red Fort area since Thursday, after a protest march was called on by various opposition parties.
“This is not the traditional route for any protest march. In Delhi, protests are held at designated routes. I request, through the media, to the people to not believe in any rumours and restrict themselves from spreading it. Also, cooperate with the police forces. Section 144 has been imposed only in Red Fort area and nowhere else,” Delhi Police Public Relation Officer MS Randhawa told media.
Thousands of protestors including several opposition leaders hit the streets in the national capital on Thursday, defying heavy security clampdown and prohibitory orders.
Opposition leaders D Raja, Sitaram Yechury, Nilotpal Basu, Brinda Karat, Ajay Maken, Sandeep Dikshit and activists Yogendra Yadav, Umar Khalid were among over 1,200 people detained from areas around Red Fort and Mandi House.