Bheem Army chief Chandrashekher Azad alias Ravan was admitted to the emergency unit of Anand hospital in Meerut on Tuesday after his health deteriorated. Doctors said his condition was critical.

The Bheem Army chief was arrested from Kasimpur of Deoband on Tuesday when he was on a padyatra.

Dr Akram Khan of Anand Hospital said Chandrashekher was in a critical condition but was being given “best possible treatment” available in the hospital. Stating that a team of doctors was treating him and that he had been kept under observation, Dr Khan said, “Azad had developed respiratory problem and is already a patient of polycythemia.”

He added that his medical examination and some tests were being conducted. “We are waiting for reports. Probably, because of the crowd he might have developed respiratory problems which deteriorated his condition,” said the doctor.

Meanwhile, Bheem Army supporters have assembled outside the Anand hospital waiting for news about their leader.

Azad was accompanied by Bheem Army’s Saharanpur district president Kamal Walia, who is his close associate, and a few supporters when he was brought to the Anand hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

According to Walia, the Saharanpur district administration gave permission to carry out their padyatra (foot march) on the evening of March 10. Thereafter, Azad started his march along with supporters. The procession was to culminate at in Delhi where they have planned Bahujan Hunkar rally on March 15, the birthday of Late Kanshi Ram.

On Monday evening, the procession reached Kasimpur village of Deoband where Azad and his supporters had a night halt. On Tuesday, when they started their march from Kasimpur, Azad was detained as the authorities said he did not have the required permissions.

Walia said a large number of people had gathered there because of which Azad developed a respiratory problem. He was immediately rushed to Anand hospital in Meerut.

“Chandarshekhar is not well at present and our prime focus is his health,” said Walia, adding that this incident would however not “dampen our spirits” and a large number of Bahujan Samaj would participate in rally in Delhi as scheduled.

Chandrashekhar had recently announced that he would support candidates against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union minister Smriti Irani in the Lok Sabha elections. Bheem Army will not contest.