Delhi Gate protest: Bhim Army chief, 15 others arrested

Delhi Gate protest: Bhim Army chief, 15 others arrested

Police personnel conduct flag march during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), at Daryanganj in Delhi. (PTI photo)

Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad, who was detained outside Jama Masjid early Saturday morning after he emerged out of the iconic mosque, and at least 15 others were arrested in connection with the Friday violence near Delhi Gate.

A car was set ablaze on Friday evening when protesters, who marched from Jama Masjid, were being evicted from Delhi Gate in Old Delhi's Daryaganj. Police also said there was stone-pelting, which it attributed to "outsiders" who sneaked into the protest.

Forty people were detained in connection with the protest on Friday night and out of this, eight minors were released on Saturday early morning.

Police detained Azad, who had called a march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar on Friday afternoon after he emerged from the mosque where he was stay put since Friday afternoon and his arrest was announced by police on Saturday afternoon. Police had attempted to detain Azad on Friday evening but Azad managed to give them the slip and entered the mosque.

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"We have to make sacrifices so that the legislation is taken back. We do not support violence. We were sitting inside the mosque since Friday morning and our people were not involved in violence," he said.

Azad sneaked into Jama Masjid around 1:30 pm on Friday, wearing a skull cap and wrapping himself in a long shawl. "My name is Chandra Shekhar Azad. Police cannot hold me captive. I wore a cap and a shawl and entered the masjid easily," he was quoted by PTI as saying.

As the Bhim Army chief stay put in the mosque, police personnel were deployed outside Jama Masjid waiting for him to come out. Senior police officials persuaded him to come outside and the episode ended around 3:15 AM when he finally agreed.

"Our activists were not involved in the violence. Policemen dressed as civilians are instigating violence in a bid to scuttle the protests," Azad alleged.

Meanwhile, a Delhi court directed police to allow lawyers to meet the detainees and provide them legal remedies after protesters accused the authorities of not allowing legal remedies to be taken by those detained. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arul Verma issued the directions late Friday night and pulled up Delhi Police for detaining minors.

"Detention of minors in a police station is a flagrant violation of the law," the judge was quoted by PTI as saying. 

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