Hyderabad: Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad has been arrested by Hyderabad police on January 26. According to sources, he has been taken to Habeebnagar police station, along with his lawyer Mahamood Paracha. The activist who was to address a Republic Day gathering at Mehdipatnam was allegedly picked up by the police from a flat in Mallepally at around 6.30 in the evening.
As a huge crowd gathered near Crystal Gardens to catch a glimpse of Bhim Army chief, Chandrasekhar Azad, Hyderabad police detained around 22 citizens in order to prevent a "law-and-order" situation.
The Dalit activist was to speak at Crystal Gardens, near Mehdipatnam on Republic Day, for which scores of citizens had gathered from 2 pm. However, Hyderabad police, in an attempt to “control the situation” kept dispersing the crowd, and detained a few in the police van.
The six people who were initially detained in the police van were let off in half an hour. Afeef Mohammed, a student from Osmania University who had been detained by the police said, “I was sitting in the tea-shop with my friends, when the police came and picked me up. They said that they were detaining me as a preventive measure. They soon let me off in half an hour.”
The student further added, “It is ironical how citizen’s rights are curbed, when the whole nation is celebrating Republic Day. We have come here just to see Chandrasekhar Azad, who is known for standing for the rights of the marginalised and oppressed people. I don’t know why the police is detaining people unnecessarily.”
However, one of the police officers said, “No permission was given for this public meeting. If the citizens want to take out a rally, they will have to approach the High Court for permission. We are detaining citizens so as to prevent a law-and-order situation.”
In a context where the chief minister of Telangana had declared his stance against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), several citizens were left wondering as to why the government is vehemently denying permission to activists like Chandrasekhar Azad. “We are not planning to take out a protest. This is Republic Day, and we wanted a simple flag-hoisting ceremony done under Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad. What police is doing is clearly a fundamental violation of Article 14 of the Constitution,” said Shahnawaz Alam, one of the citizens who had gathered.
Earlier on January 12, permission was denied to former JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who was to speak against CAA and NRC in Hyderabad.