Straight out of Tihar

Chandra Shekhar Aazad discusses jail and the CAA protests

17 January 2020
Aazad after being released from Tihar jail, on 16 January 2020.
Shahid Tantray
Aazad after being released from Tihar jail, on 16 January 2020.
Shahid Tantray

Chandra Shekhar Aazad was arrested in Delhi on the intervening night between 20 and 21 December. Aazad, a leader of the Bhim Army, had given a call for a protest on 20 December, against the recently enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Thousands had gathered in the day at the steps of the Jama Masjid, where Aazad read out the preamble of the Constitution. Later that day, according to eye witnesses, the police also led a brutal crackdown on anti-CAA protestors in Daryaganj, an area near Jama Masjid. The first-information report against Aazad connected him to the violence at Daryaganj. It stated the charges against him as rioting, arson and destroying public property, among others. 

In early January, Azaad’s physician tweeted that jail authorities at Tihar, where Aazad was being held, were not providing the Bhim Army leader with necessary medical treatment—he suffers from polycythaemia, a blood-related disease. On 9 January, Delhi’s Tis Hazari court issued a direction to Tihar jail authorities, asking them to allow Aazad access to medical care.

Shahid Tantray is a multimedia reporter at The Caravan. He tweets at @shahidtantray.

Keywords: CAA Citizenship (Amendment) Act Bhim Army caste politics BR Ambedkar
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