New Delhi: While hearing the bail plea of Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad aka “Raavan” arrested for his protest last month against the citizenship law at Jama Masjid, a Delhi court today asserted “it is one’s constitutional right to protest”.
A judge at the Tis Hazari court, ripping into the Delhi Police for its charges against Chandrashekhar Azad, said: “You are behaving as if Jama Masjid is in Pakistan. Even if it was in Pakistan, you can go there and protest. Pakistan was a part of undivided India.”
The Bhim Army chief was arrested on December 21 over a dramatic protest a day before at Jama Masjid, where he surfaced suddenly in the mosque complex and slipped away after being taken into custody. He was arrested a day later and charged with arson and rioting.
The public prosecutor, representing the police, got off to a rough start when he pleaded ignorance about the First Information Report referring to charges against Azad in Uttar Pradesh. The judge expressed surprise when the prosecutor said he would “find out”.
The prosecutor also referred to Azad’s social media posts to argue that he had incited violence. When the prosecutor read out a post by the Bhim Army chief about going to a dharna? What is wrong with protesting? It is one’s constitutional right to protest.”