Dubai: A man identified as Rambhakt Gopal, in the Indian capital of Delhi, allegedly opened fire at protesting students of the Jamia Millia Islamia University during an anti-CAA protest on Thursday. Reportedly, a student was injured and the police said that the accused has been taken into custody.
The protesters including students of Jamia, were marching towards Rajghat to hold a protest against the new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens.
The video of the incident went viral, with tweeps asking if the law and order situation in the country, especially in the capital, had ccompletely "collapsed"?
What seemed to shock many tweeps was the calm demeanor of the policemen who were watching the man shouting slogans against the protesters near Jamia, before firing at them.
Some tried to discredit the video, saying it was staged, pointing out that camerapersons and protestors who were following the shooter. To this, tweep @LiberalsOfDelhi replied: "For those asking how was every news channel’s camera trained towards the man when he started waving the gun and shooting, these are called instincts of journalists, not an organized stunt at all. #Jamia"
Reportedly, a selfie-footage was posted by Rambhakt Gopal on Facebook showing him walking around the venue of the protest dressed in a black jacket. Gopal, who was heard shouting "Yeh lo azaadi (here's your freedom)", managed to injure a student -- Shadaab Farukh -- before he was overpowered by the others around him. The injured protester was rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences with blood dripping down his left hand.
A Reuters photograph showed the man, dressed in a black jacket and brandishing a single-barrel weapon, standing meters away from dozens of policemen deployed outside the university, where protesters had gathered for a march. "The police stood nearby," Ahmed Zahir, a witness, told Reuters
Protests have flared across India, against the Citizenship Amendment Act, which fast-tracks Indian citizenship for non-Muslim minorities from three neighbouring countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government insists the law is required to help persecuted minorities who fled to India before 2015 from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Recently, leaders from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have called for action against the protesters, who they term as unpatriotic, some even suggesting gun violence is alright. Earlier this week, India's junior finance minister Anurag Thakur encouraged supporters at a state election rally in New Delhi to chant slogans calling for traitors to be shot, drawing a reprimand from the country's election commission.
With inputs from Reuters.