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Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar released from Tihar

Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar released from Tihar

New Delhi: Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad, who was arrested in connection with the violence during an anti-CAA protest in Old Delhi's Daryaganj, was released from Tihar Jail on Thursday night, officials said.

Azad's outfit had organised a march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar against the amended citizenship act on December 20, without police permission. He was sent to judicial custody on December 21.

On Wednesday, a Delhi court had granted bail to Azad, who was accused of inciting people during the anti-CAA protest at Jama Masjid.

The court also restrained Azad from visiting Delhi for four weeks and directed him not to hold any dharna till the elections in the national capital.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau had granted the relief to Azad on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 25,000.

While granting bail to Azad on Wednesday, the judge recited Rabindranath Tagore's famous poem 'Where the Mind is Without Fear' and said citizens have a fundamental right to peaceful protest which cannot be curtailed by the state.

"I am reminded of our reverend patriotic poet Rabindranath Tagore who is most relevant today. He during the colonial era in early 1900's when British followed the policy of Divide and Rule, visualised a nation where where there is no fear in the minds people and education is attained by all; people are enlightened and do not create walls of discrimination," she had said.

During the hearing, Additional Public Prosecutor Pankaj Bhatia, appearing for the police, opposed the bail plea, saying Azad had given inflammatory speeches at the premises of Jama Masjid inciting the gathering to carry out violent protests in the area against the amended Citizenship Act.

"Inside Parliament, things which should have been said were not said and that is why people are out on the streets. We have full right to express our views but we cannot destroy our country. We cannot disintegrate it," Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said.

When the judge asked what evidence they had to prove the allegations against Azad, the counsel referred to social media posts of the Bhim Army Chief wherein he calls people to come to Jama Masjid and sit in 'dharna' (protest).

To this, the judge asked, "What is the problem with going to Jama Masjid? What is wrong with 'dharna'? It is one's constitutional right to protest. Where is the violence? What is wrong with any of these posts? Have you read the Constitution?"

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