Around midnight on 20 December, Sagar and Shahid Tantray, a staff writer and the assistant photo editor at The Caravan, respectively, met Chandrashekhar Azad at the steps of the Jama Masjid in Delhi, surrounded by a large crowd of protestors. Hundreds of residents and students had been sitting on the stairs since the morning, protesting against the recently enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Azad sat on the topmost stair in the middle of the crowd. Every few minutes, he would pick up a loudspeaker and add his voice to the crowd, chanting slogans like “Jai Samvidhan”—Hail the Constitution.
Earlier in the day, Azad had called for a protest to begin from the mosque to Jantar Mantar, in central Delhi. The police did not grant permission for the protest. Yet, at around 1 pm, hundreds gathered at Jama Masjid. As they chanted slogans against the CAA, Azad emerged from the crowd, holding up a copy of the Constitution. The police moved immediately to detain him, but he was subsequently released. The protestors then moved to Delhi Gate, where the police used a water cannon and lathi charged them. A vehicle was burned during the demonstration. The Caravan is unable to identify the arsonists.
Later in the evening, after Friday prayers, Azad posted a tweet saying that he was at Jama Masjid, among the crowds. In the early hours of Saturday, Azad was taken into police custody. He was formally arrested later in the day, reportedly for “arson and rioting, damage to public property, unlawful assembly and causing grievous hurt.” The Tis Hazari court rejected his bail plea and remanded him to 14 days of judicial custody.