New Delhi: Hours after taking him into detention, Delhi Police has arrested Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Aazad on Saturday afternoon for holding a rally in the Jama Masjid area without permission. The arrest comes 24 hours of the rally which was followed by a highly dramatic day for both the Bhim Army chief and the Delhi Police. On Friday, Bhim Army staged a protest gathering inside Jama Masjid where Chandrashekhar sneaked evading police surveillance. He was reportedly detained but then he managed to give the police a slip and reappeared inside the mosque premises, stayed there for the entire evening, tweeted from there, posted videos. Early on Saturday morning, Delhi police detained him. Finally, he has been arrested concluding a 24-hour episode of hide-and-seek.
“My name is Chandrashekhar Aazad. Police cannot hold me captive. I wore a cap and a shawl and entered the masjid easily,” he had said yesterday when he was asked how he could manage to evade police vigil twice — once as he entered the masjid, the second time when he fled detention.
He said that he had sneaked into the Jama Masjid around 1:30 pm, wearing a skull cap and wrapping himself in a long shawl to hide his identity. “Policemen dressed as civilians are instigating violence in a bid to scuttle the protests,” he alleged. “Those who are indulging in violence are not our people. Our peaceful protest continues at the historic Jama Masjid. Ambedkarites do not indulge in violence. Those indulging in violence are from RSS and not from our outfit. I am at Jama Masjid and will stay here. Those who commit violence want to weaken our movement,” Aazad had tweeted in Hindi.
According to a Bhim Army functionary, their protest started after the Friday prayers around 1 pm and Aazad was present in the march. However, when police tried to detain him, supporters took him away and he was given shelter by a family. “For three hours, even we thought he had been detained. But around 4 pm, he appeared inside Jama Masjid,” said the functionary.