Hundreds of people with their hands tied marching towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence to demand the release of Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad and to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act were stopped on the way by the police on Friday.
Amid heavy security arrangement and drone surveillance, the protesters, including Bhim Army members, started their march from Dargah Shah-e-Mardan in Jor Bagh in the national capital and were stopped by the police at a barricade enroute the PM’s residence at Lok Kalyan Marg.
After offering Friday prayers at the mosque, some of the protesters participated in the march with their hands tied, saying they did it so that they could not be blamed for violence and arson during the protest.
They raised slogans of ‘tanashahi nahi chalegi’ [won’t tolerate dictatorship] and carried posters of Babasaheb Ambedkar and Aazad.
“We have tied our hands and are protesting so tomorrow they do not attack us and lie that we were not protesting peacefully,” said Majid Jamal, one of the protesters.
Former chairman of the National Commission For Minorities Wajahat Habibullah said the new law is against the basic principles laid down in the Constitution.
“The way people have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh for no fault of theirs, the government needs to remember that when the MPs we elect don’t raise voice for us that is when people take to streets to raise their voices themselves,” he added.
Drones kept hovering over the protesters keeping a close watch on them. When the agitators were stopped from marching towards their destination, they appealed to the police personnel to allow them to continue their march.
Aazad was arrested for allegedly instigating protesters to indulge in violence in old Delhi’s Daryaganj in an inflammatory speech last Friday.
“Those who are not at fault are also being punished. Even those who were not part of any protests, they were pulled out from houses and painted wrong. This is our law? The violence across the country is well planned to distract people’s attention from the draconian CAA,” imam Qasim Zaidi said.
Mohibullah, Imam from a mosque in Parliament Street, said, “The country’s citizens are not being treated as citizens, what country are we turning into? They are misleading the majority to target the minority.”