NEWS
17/01/2020 9:09 AM IST | Updated 17/01/2020 3:32 PM IST

Chandrashekhar Azad Reads The Preamble At Jama Masjid After Release From Jail

The Bhim Army chief was released from Tihar Jail on Thursday night.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Dalit leader and Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad join others for a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act after Friday prayers outside Jama Masjid in New Delhi, Dec. 20, 2019. 

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, who was released from Tihar jail on Thursday, was at the Jama Masjid in Delhi on Friday with the Constitution in hand.

Azad stood on the steps of the mosque and read out the Preamble of the Constitution, News18 reported.

“It is our responsibility to protest the unity and the Constitution of this country. From the steps of Jama Masjid, let us send a message across the world that we will keep our democratic protest going to keep this country’s peace and brotherhood and to fight against the black law trying to break this,” Azad said.

Azad told reporters at the spot that he was not violating any bail conditions. As per the conditions, he is permitted to visit Jama Masjid, Jor Bagh and Ravidas temple within 24 hours of his release.

He also lauded women holding the anti-CAA demonstration at Shaheen Bagh, the agitation by students of Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and other institutions across the country.

Azad had been arrested on charges of instigating violence during an anti-CAA protest in Old Delhi’s Daryaganj. His outfit had organised a march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar against the amended citizenship act on December 20. He was sent to judicial custody on December 21.

Soon after his release, Azad told NDTV, “We have been working according to the Constitution and we will continue to do that... Is it a crime to read the Preamble? ...Delhi Police is helpless in front of the Centre.”

On Wednesday, a Delhi court had granted bail to Azad but restrained him from visiting Delhi for four weeks and directed him not to hold any dharna till the elections in the national capital. 

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau banned Azad from joining the protest at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi and said he was to be escorted to Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh. He was also ordered to appear before the police every Saturday for the month he is out of Delhi.

While granting him bail, the judge also asked Azad to respect the Constitution and the Prime Minister.

Azad’s lawyer said the restrictions curtailed the very freedom of speech he was fighting for.

On Thursday, Azad said he would appeal in court against the restrictions imposed on him.

After his release, Azad tweeted: “We will protect Baba Saheb’s Constitution together. No one needs to be scared. No unconstitutional law will be enforced as long as I am alive.”

Azad said he would visit Ravidas Temple and Jama Masjid on Friday. He also said he would visit a church and a gurudwara.

“The purpose of these visits is to oppose the CAA and NRC and let people know that we will not allow the imposition of these black laws on ourselves,” he said.