New Delhi: A gun-wielding man opened fire on protesters demonstrating against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens near the Jamia Millia Islamia in south Delhi on Thursday, injuring a student.
The assailant has been identified as Gopal Sharma from Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddha district. He has been taken into custody and is being questioned, police said.
“Brandishing the gun, he shouted ‘yeh lo azadi (take your freedom), come I’ll shoot you’ and then fired on the protesters,” a student who was part of the protests told News18. Delhi Police personnel were present on the spot when the attack took place.
A video of the attack that is being shared widely on social media also showed the shooter shouting the ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan and warning protesters to chant ‘Vande Mataram’ if they want to stay in India.
The injured student, Shadab Farooq from Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district, was hit by the bullet in his left arm and was rushed to Holy Family hospital in Jamia Nagar. He was later shifted to AIIMS and is stated to be out of danger.
The incident took place when a protest march was being taken out from the university campus to Jantar Mantar in central Delhi. Students told News18 that the attacker tried to hijack the peaceful protest and threatened the anti-CAA agitators, while the cops stood as mute spectators.
After the shooting, the entry and exit gates of three Metro stations – Jama Masjid, ITO and Delhi Gate – have been closed by authorities fearing more protests.
The Facebook profile of the gunman, shared by police sources, showed the extent to which he had been radicalised. Just hours before the shooting, he had posted that his actions were revenge for Chandan, referring to the killing of Abhishek Gupta in clashes on Republic Day in UP’s Kasganj in 2018.
Other posts on the social media account, in which Gopal had prefixed his name by ‘Rambhakt’, said ‘game over, Shaheen Bagh’ and “wrap me in saffron on my last journey”. He had also posted several videos from the rally before the shooting.
WITH INPUTS FROM NDTV