Our protest against CAA will continue: Azad
January 17, 2020  20:20
Hours before leaving the national capital on the directions of a court, Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad on Friday said his primary concern was to make people aware about the discriminatory citizenship law and not to fight elections in Delhi.

Azad, who was arrested in connection with the violence during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest in Old Delhi's Daryaganj, was released from Tihar Jail on Thursday night.

The Dalit group leader on Friday visited the Bhagwan Valmiki Mandir in Gole Market, Gurdwara Bangla Sahib and Jama Masjid and addressed members of the Bhim Army before the 24-hour court-imposed deadline to leave the city ended.

"My priority is to make people aware about the discriminatory citizenship law, mobilize people against it... It is time to strengthen this movement, politics can happen later," he said.

Sources in the Bhim Army had in December said the Dalit group could take a political plunge in the Delhi assembly elections.

Aazad also said that he withdrew from a contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Varanasi because he did not 'have enough money' and that it would have affected the Dalit movement.

"Our protest against the CAA will continue. We request the court to allow us to protest. The government is spreading misinformation on the issue, we are checking it," Aazad said.

The Bhim Army leader said the court asked 'me to respect Prime Minister (Narendra Modi), I want to ask him to respect the Constitution'.

Wearing a blue scarf that symbolises B R Ambedkar's iconic blue suit, Azad claimed he was arrested for reading out the Preamble to the Constitution on the stairs of Jama Masjid and said he will 'read it daily'.

He also recited poet Rahat Indori's ghazal 'Agar Khilaf Hai Hone Do', which has become a rallying call in the recent protests against the CAA and National Register of Citizens.

A Delhi court on Wednesday had granted bail to Aazad who has been accused of inciting people during an anti-CAA protest at Jama Masjid in New Delhi on December 20, while restraining him from visiting Delhi for four weeks.

The court had also said that before going to Saharanpur, if Azad wants to go anywhere, including Jama Masjid in Delhi in 24 hours, police will escort him.   -- PTI

IMAGE: Bhim Army Chief Chandrasekhar Azad speaks at a press conference in New Delhi, Friday. Photograph: PTI Photo
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