NEW DELHI: Playing hide and seek with Delhi police, Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad on Friday surfaced inside Jama Masjid, hours after the security personnel tried to detain him during the outfit's march against the amended citizenship law.
Azad later told PTI he sneaked into the mosque, ducking a number of police personnel looking out for him, by wrapping himself in a long shawl to hide his signature.
A Bhim Army functionary said their protest had started after the Friday prayers around 1 pm and Aazad was present in the march.
However, when police tried to detain him, supporters whisked him away and a family offered him a temporary shelter.
"For three hours, even we thought he had been detained. But around 4 pm, he appeared inside Jama Masjid," said the functionary.
He is still inside the mosque and police officials are at the gates waiting for him to come out.
"Around 4 pm, he came inside Jama Masjid and addressed the supporters and also read the Preamble of the Constitution. Even the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid addressed everyone and told them, 'Aazad is our guest'," the functionary said.
Azad urged his supporters to carry on the protest peacefully.
"Those who are indulging in violence are not our people. Our peaceful protest continues at the historic Jama Masjid. Ambedkarites do not indulge in violence. Those indulging in violence are from RSS and not from our outfit. I am at Jama Masjid and will stay here. Those who commit violence want to weaken our movement," Aazad tweeted in Hindi.
Earlier in the day, a drama ensued as the outfit claimed Azad was "caught" by police but escaped near Daryaganj during the march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar.
However, there was no official confirmation from police.
According to Bhim Army, police had tried to escort Azad away at Jama Masjid but he managed to get away.
However, he was "caught" later near Daryaganj but escaped from there too, it said.
The march led by Bhim Army against the citizenship law, despite the police denying permission to it, came a day after thousands of students, activists and opposition leaders hit the streets in the national capital defying security clampdown and prohibitory orders.
"Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil mein hai, dekhna hai zor kitna baazu-e-qatil mein hai. Jai samvidhan (The desire for revolution is in our hearts, we shall see how much strength lies in the arms of the enemy. Hail the Constitution)," he had tweeted.
"I am sitting here on the stairs of Jama Masjid to tell the Modi government that we will not let you kill the Constitution. This country is ours and we will fight till the end to save it," Aazad said in another tweet in Hindi.