Bhim Army Chief Chandrasekhar Azad. Image Source: IANS News

Hyderabad, Jan 26 : Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad was arrested on Sunday by Hyderabad police while he was on way to address a public meeting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in the city.

As permission had been denied for the meeting, police took Azad and those accompanying him into custody and shifted them to various police stations.

The Dalit leader was on way to Crystal Garden Mehdipatnam to address the meet, organised to celebrate the Republic Day by All India Dalit Muslim Adivasi Progressive Front (AIDMPAF).

The Bhim Army chief was initially taken to Habeebnagar police station but as his supporters began to reach there to lodge protest, he was shifted to Bolaram police station on the city outskirts. Others were taken to Goshamahal police station.

Earlier, the police began detaining activists of AIDMPAF and other Azad supporters at the venue. Many others who had come to attend the meet were asked to disperse.

A posse of police was deployed near the venue since morning to foil the meeting.

Wahdat-e-Islami leader Moulana Naseeruddin, who had also reached the meeting venue, condemned the police action and accused police of "muzzling the voice of democracy" and committing "excesses" on those trying to protest peacefully against the CAA, National Register of Citizens and National Population Register.

A public meeting at the same venue, scheduled to be addressed by former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar on January 13, was also cancelled after police denied permission.

Azad's detention comes 10 days after his release on bail from Tihar Central Jail in Delhi.

He was arrested by Delhi police on December 20 on charge of inciting people during the anti-CAA protest. He was held when he tried to take out a march from the historic Jama Masjid to the Jantar Mantar in Central Delhi.

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