New Delhi: The massive congregation at the Jama Masjid, led by Bhim Army, on Friday became the epicentre of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad’s dramatic acts stunned police as, despite restrictions put since the morning, he appeared inside the masjid and managed to give the police a slip when he was initially detained during the day. Late at night, he was taken into custody.

 

“My name is Chandrashekhar Azad. Police cannot hold me captive. I wore a cap and a shawl and entered the masjid easily,” he said soon after evading the 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,” Azad 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.