Bhim Army chief leads anti-CAA protest at Jama Masjid

Bhim Army chief leads anti-CAA protest at Jama Masjid

Delhi police used water cannons on the protesters. (ANI photo)

Thousands of protesters, including Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad who was detained, gathered outside iconic Jama Masjid in Old Delhi after Friday prayers, shouting slogans against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Azad, who had announced that he would carry out a march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar for which police denied permission, was detained but give them a slip amid people resisted him being taken away. Even as some eye-witnesses said he moved from house to house and even jumped some terraces to leave Jama Masjid area, Azad was detained again from Daryaganj where he was leading a march.

Police had denied permission to carry out a march from Jama Masjid, saying protests should be held at designated spots to ensure law and order as well as convenience of the general public.  Four metro stations -- Chawri Bazar, Lal Quila (Red Fort), Jama Masjid and Delhi Gate -- around Jama Masjid were closed to prevent the flow of protesters.

Soon after Friday prayers were over, the devotees gathered at the steps of Jama Masjid and were joined by Azad and his supporters. Police had allowed entry to only those who were going inside to offer 'namaz' but Azad had managed to enter Jama Masjid.

Holding a picture of B R Ambedkar and a copy of Constitution, Azad was seen shouting slogans while protesters carried tricolour and banners which read, 'Reject NRC, Reject CAA' and 'Save Constitution'. Azad also read out the Preamble of Constitution amid sloganeering.

While a large number of people continued to remain near Jama Masjid, another group took out a march but were prevented at Delhi Gate from moving forward.

A large number of police personnel, including from the Rapid Action Force (RAF), have been deployed in the locality to ensure that no untoward incident takes place. Police also used drones to monitor the situation in Jama Masjid.

Locals also offered roses to senior police officers ahead of the protest. Delhi Police PRO M S Randhawa said prohibitory orders has not been imposed in the Walled City of Old Delhi. “People here are cooperating and want peace, Delhi police is also working for the same,” he said.

Peaceful protests were also held in Seelampur as well as Mehrauli in the national capital.

In north-east Delhi, police imposed prohibitory orders in 12 police station areas besides using drones to keep a close watch on the situation on the ground. Police said around 1,000 paramilitary personnel deployed and 1,500 other security personnel were deployed in sensitive areas of Seelampur. RAF was also deployed near metro stations like Jafrabad.

Police led by Joint Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar and Deputy Commissioner of Police Ved Prakash Surya led a flag march in North-East Delhi. Seelampur area in North-East Delhi had witnessed violence during the anti-CAA protests Wednesday.

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