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Who is Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad?

In order to avoid getting caught by the cops, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad managed to give a slip to police amid protests at Delhi's Jama Masjid on Friday but was detained later.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: December 21, 2019 11:37 IST
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad 
Image Source : FILE PHOTO

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad 

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad was detained from Jama Masjid hours after he gave a slip to Delhi Police who was searching for him during Friday's anti-CAA protests in the national capital. Hundreds of protesters including members of the Bhim Army and its chief Azad had upped the ante against the government at Delhi's Jama Masjid on Friday over the CAA and National Registrar of Citizens (NRC) issues.

Unprecedented scenes were witnessed on Friday at Jama Masjid where a sea of protesters had gathered to express their disagreement against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC.

However, after several hours of drama followed by violent clashes in Delhi's Daryaganj, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad was finally detained on early Saturday. In order to avoid getting caught by the cops, Azad managed to give a slip to police by running from house to house and jumping terraces in the densely populated Jama Masjid and Daryaganj area.

Who is Chandrashekhar Azad?

Hailing from Ghadkhauli village in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district, Chandrashekhar Azad a social activist, lawyer and follower of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar and chief of Bhim Army.

Azad co-founded the Bhim Army — an organisation which works for the upliftment of people belonging to the Dalit community. The organisation runs free schools for Dalits in Western Uttar Pradesh.

Azad became prominent as a Dalit leader after he had installed a board outside his village which read — The Great Chamars of Ghadkhauli Welcome You. Chandrashekhar's father was a former principal of a government school.

Chandrashekhar Azad's full name was Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan, however, he later removed 'Ravan' from his title.

Chandrashekhar Azad on Jama Masjid protest

Speaking on Friday's protest at Jama Masjid, Chandrashekhar Azad said his group was not involved in the violence near Delhi Gate. He further alleged that policemen dressed as civilians are instigating violence in a bid to scuttle the protests.

The proposed National Register of Citizens is going to impact Muslims and Dalits the most, Azad claimed. "They could not keep the Rafale files safe in lockers, how can they ask us to furnish documents? They cannot show their degrees to us. Why should we?" Azad added.

The protest will continue till Home Minister Amit Shah resigns, he said, adding he will soon address the protesters at Jamia Millia Islamia.

Azad's 2019 General Election challenge to PM Modi and his U-turn

Earlier this year, prior to the General Elections 2019, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad had said that he would challenge PM Modi by contesting the election from Varanasi (PM Modi's constituency), however, he later took a u-turn saying he would rather support BSP-SP alliance in the state so that the Dalit vote remains intact.

Chandrashekhar Azad has often discussed about his childhood days and discrimination against the Dalit community. He has talked about how Dalit students were not allowed to take front benches in the classrooms or drink water from hand-pump before the students belonging to the upper-class community.

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