NEW DELHI – Two day after a man fired a pistol at a group of anti-CAA protesters near the Jamia University, another man on Saturday fired two rounds in the air at Shaheen Bagh, the epicentre of the protest against the country’s new citizenship law, and was later taken into custody.
No one was injured in the incident that came even as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during a poll rally in Delhi’s northwest Rohini area alleged that those who support militants in Kashmir are staging protest at Shaheen Bagh.
The man, who identified himself as Kapil Gujjar, chanted ‘Jai Shree Ram‘ and said, “hamare desh me aur kisi ki nahi chalegi, sirf Hindu ki chalegi (only Hindus shall have a say in our country, no one else),” as he was taken into custody by the Delhi Police.
“The accused fired in air near police barricades. He was overpowered by police personnel and taken into custody. Further investigation is on,” Chinmoy Biswal, Deputy Commissioner of Police (southeast) said.
The police said they are verifying his identity.
According to eyewitnesses, the man shouted “Hindu Rashtra Zindabad” and fired two rounds.
The incident, which comes days after a local contractor armed with a gun had come to the site and asked the people to end the protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, has triggered panic in the area.
A woman protestor, who didn’t wish to be named, said the incident has created panic among them as well as children.
“Many women and children were inside the tent when the incident occurred. We rushed to the spot after hearing a gunshot. Everyone is scared. But we won’t leave the spot,” she said.
Notwithstanding the unnerving incident, many people thronged the protest site to express solidarity with the protestors. Many of them sung the national anthem while others offered namaz there.
The protestors also raised slogans against the Delhi Police.
Abu Ala Suhani, a publisher and resident of Shaheen Bagh said,” the man appeared to be in his 20s and fired two rounds. While he was being taken into custody, we heard a policeman asking him his name. The man said his name was Kapil Gujjar and he belongs to Dallupura village in Uttar Pradesh.”
On Thursday, a youth had fired on anti-CAA protesters at Jamia Millia Islamia injuring a student in the presence of police personnel, triggering massive protest by the Jamia students against the police inaction.
Hundreds of people, including women and children, have been protesting since December 15 at Shaheen Bagh, which has attracted attention across the country among those opposing the CAA, but at the same time the agitation has been severely criticised by others, including the BJP Union ministers and leaders.
Reacting to the incident, AAP leader Sanjay Singh said they had already warned the Election Commission that a conspiracy is being hatched by the BJP to postpone the polls.
“There is no law and order in the country. The gun-toting men are not making Delhi their bastion (adda).We have been seeking time from the Election Commission since yesterday so that we can make them aware of these developments but they have not given us any time,” he said.
However, senior BJP leader B L Santhosh insinuated involvement of party’s rivals in the recent shooting incidents, saying the “great drama party of Delhi is becoming too costly for the country”.
“One more drama today. This time the gun shot is near Shaheen Bagh. The acts are looking too dramatic to be real. Person brandishes gun…shoots couple of bullets…shouts some words against a community .The great drama party of Delhi is becoming too costly for the country,” he tweeted.
In a veiled attack on the BJP over the incident, the Congress said the shooter has changed but the ideology pulling the trigger in 1948 or 2020 has remained the same.
A man fired two rounds in air in the Shaheen Bagh area in Jamia Nagar, where an anti-CAA protest is on, following which he was taken into custody by police, eyewitnesses said.
Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill tweeted,”Shooter changes but ideology pulling the trigger either in 1948 (Nathuram Godse) or 2020 remains the same ”Goli Maro” — Hands which should be pulling India”s growth are now firing guns.”
“Instead of ”Make in India” focus is on ”spreading hate in India”,” he alleged.
On Monday, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur while addressing a election rally, had raised the slogan of ‘desh ke gaddaron ko’ (traitors in the country) as the crowd responded with ‘goli maaron sa***n ko’.
The next day, BJP MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma said protesters at Shaheen Bagh could “enter homes and rape our sisters and daughters”.
The Election commission asked the BJP to remove both Thakur and Verma from the list of star campaigners.
It also barred Thakur from campaigning for three days and Verma for four days for their controversial remarks.
Shaheen Bagh Protesters Support Kashmir Militancy: Yogi
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday alleged that those who support militants in Kashmir are staging protest at Shaheen Bagh and raising slogans of ‘azadi’.
Hitting out at the AAP dispensation at an election rally in northwest Delhi’s Rohini, Adityanath said that the Arvind Kejriwal government “supplies biryani” to protesters at Shaheen Bagh.
Hundreds of people, including women and children, have been protesting since December 15 at Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens.
Addressing another poll rally at Karawal Nagar Chowk in east Delhi, the BJP leader lashed out at anti-CAA protesters, saying “their ancestors divided India, so they have a grouse against this emerging ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’.”
“These protests happening at various places in Delhi are not about the CAA, but it is happening because those people are questioning as to how can India emerge as a major power in the world, and to stop that rising India,” he claimed.
During the Delhi assembly poll campaign, BJP leaders have been urging people to vote for the party to show their disapproval for the ongoing anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh.
Jamia Bars Student Protests, Warn Strict Action
Jamia Millia Islamia on Saturday prohibited students from holding any protest meeting or agitation inside the university campus, warning them of strict action, according to officials.
The varsity administration also directed students to report to it any unauthorised entry of outsiders in campus to avoid “disruption of peace”.
The directive comes in wake of recent incidents around the university area.
Earlier this week, a student of the varsity was injured outside the campus when a man fired a pistol at a group of anti-CAA protesters before walking away while waving the firearm over his head shouting “Yeh lo aazadi”.
“Any kind of protest meeting, agitation, speeches and mass gathering or any unlawful activities causing inconvenience and disruption in the day to day academic functioning are not allowed around the central canteen or anywhere in the Jamia Millia Islamia campus,” the Jamia Registrar said in an official order.
“Students are expected to cooperate actively in discipline maintenance to support exam and conduct of classes.
“They are also expected to immediately report any outsider or unauthorized campus entry as this can lead to an attempt of disruption of peace at university. Strict action will be initiated if anyone is found engaged in such activities,” the registrar added.
The university had virtually turned into a battlefield last month as police entered the campus and also used force, following protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, that led to violence and arson in which four DTC buses, 100 private vehicles and 10 police bikes were damaged.
The university moved court this month for registration of FIR against Delhi police.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.