Man Opens Fire At Shaheen Bagh Protest Site, Says ‘Only Hindus Will Have A Say’
Two day after a man fired a pistol at a group of anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protesters near Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia university, another man on Saturday fired two rounds into 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 terrorists 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 into the 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- Citizenship (Amendment) Act 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 Dec. 15 at Shaheen Bagh, which has attracted attention across the country among those opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, but at the same time the agitation has been severely criticised by others, including the Bharatiya Janata Party union ministers and leaders.
Hitting out at the Aam Aadmi Party dispensation, Adityanath said that the Arvind Kejriwal government “supplies biryani” to protesters at Shaheen Bagh.
Addressing another poll rally at Karawal Nagar Chowk in east Delhi, the BJP leader lashed out at the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act 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 Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 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. BJP leaders have been urging people to vote for the party in Delhi assembly polls on Feb. 8 to show their disapproval for the ongoing anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protest at Shaheen Bagh.
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. 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 BL Santhosh insinuated involvement of the 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.