GE News Desk | New Delhi
The Tis Hazari Court Tuesday lambasted the Delhi Police over its claims that Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad incited violence through his social media posts before being arrested from Jama Masjid.
The Additional Sessions Judge observed, “What is wrong with dharna? What is wrong with protesting? It is one’s constitutional right to protest.” Adjourning the bail plea for tomorrow, the judge also said the Delhi Police was behaving as if Jama Masjid is Pakistan.
Stressing that people have a right to protest, the ASJ said, “You are behaving as if Jama Masjid is Pakistan. Even if it was Pakistan, you can go there and protest. Pakistan was a part of undivided India.”
When the prosecutor said that necessary permission had not been taken for protesting, the Judge came down heavily on the Delhi Police saying, “What permission? the Supreme Court has said repeated use of section 144 is an abuse. I want you to show me under which law is it prohibited for someone to protest outside religious places?”
When the prosecutor said that the Delhi Police had drone footage and no audio-video recording against Azad for inciting violence, the ASJ said, “Our Delhi Police is so backward that we do not have recordings? There must have been recordings, in this case when there is something objectionable you say you have no recording.”
Azad’s lawyer said that the Delhi Police had no evidence and that the arrest was to stifle dissent.
Azad has been in Tihar jail since December 21 after he was arrested from Jama Masjid for protesting against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act. The Dalit leader has been at loggerheads with the ruling government and was recently shifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for treatment. He is suffering from a rare blood disease polycythemia.