Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, arrested on December 21 on the charges of instigating violence during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Old Delhi’s Daryaganj locality, was released from Tihar Jail on Thursday. He had been granted bail on Wednesday.
Azad told NDTV that he did not make any speech when he was arrested, but read the Preamble of the Constitution. “We have been working according to the Constitution and we will continue to do that,” he said. “Is it a crime to read the Preamble? Delhi Police is helpless in front of the Centre.”
“We will save Baba Saheb [Ambedkar’s] Constitution together, no one needs to have any fear,” he said in a tweet after his release. “As long as I am alive, no anti-constitutional law will be implemented.”
Azad added that he will visit Ravidas Temple at 10 am and Jama Masjid at 1 pm on Friday.
The court of Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau on Wednesday granted Azad bail with several conditions. He was asked to leave the national Capital within 24 hours of his release from jail and to stay out of the city for the next four weeks in view of the upcoming Delhi elections.
Azad said he would appeal before the court over the restrictions imposed on him. “Court gave me relief. I have faith in the judiciary,” he said.
The Bhim Army chief, who will be escorted back to his home in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur city, has to check in with the station house officer there every Saturday for the next four weeks. Following that, he will have to mark his presence before the official every month till the chargesheet is filed.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Lau had criticised the public prosecutor, representing Delhi Police, saying that there was nothing wrong with protests as it was “one’s constitutional right”. After the public prosecutor alleged that Azad had incited violence through his social media posts, the judge had noted there was nothing violent about them.
“Who says you cannot protest?” the judge had said. “Have you read the Constitution? 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.”
Last week, a court in Delhi had criticised the Tihar Jail authorities for not providing medical treatment to the Bhim Army leader, who suffers from a blood disease. On January 9, the court ordered the jail authorities to shift Azad to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. In his application, moved on January 6, Azad said he can suffer cardiac arrest if he does not receive treatment. The disease “requires continuous checkup from the doctors concerned from AIIMS, who are supervising his treatment for a long time”, he said.