Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad arrived in Delhi on Monday after he was “forcibly sent” back from Hyderabad, The Indian Express reported. Earlier in the day, Azad said “dictatorship” was “at its peak” in Telangana. Azad was detained on Sunday, before he arrived at the Crystal Hall in Hyderabad to take part in a rally against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
“Dictatorship is at its peak in Telangana,” Azad tweeted. “People’s right to protest is being snatched, first our people were beaten with sticks, then I was arrested, now I have been brought to the airport and being sent back to Delhi. @TelanganaCMO Remember Bahujan society will never forget this insult. Will be back soon.”
Azad also retweeted a protestor who said: “Hyderabad Police are forcibly taking us to the airport and sending us to Delhi.”
On Sunday, the police claimed the protestors did not take permission for the demonstration. The rally had been organised by the students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences against the new citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens.
Azad was first taken to Habeeb Nagar Police Station before being shifted to Bollaram Police Station after a crowd started to gather outside the Habeeb Nagar facility. All others who were arrested were taken to Goshamahal stadium.
On January 15, a court in Delhi had granted bail to Azad in the Daryaganj violence case. He had been arrested in December on charges of instigating violence in Old Delhi during protests against the citizenship law.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had said on Saturday that the state Assembly will soon pass a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Punjab, Kerala and Rajasthan legislatures have already passed such resolutions. All four states are ruled by non-Bharatiya Janata Party governments.
The Citizenship Amendment Act provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. Twenty-six people died in last month’s protests against the law – all in the BJP-ruled states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Assam.
The government’s critics and some protestors fear that the amended law and the National Register of Citizens will be misused to target Muslims since the Citizenship Act now has religion as a criterion. There are now fears that a nation-wide National Register of Citizens will be imposed. The Assam NRC had left out around 6% of the state’s population. Work has also begun on the National Population Register, which is the first step to creating an all-Indian NRC identifying undocumented migrants residing in India.