New Delhi: Days after BJP leader and Union Minister Anurag Thakur, after criticising anti-CAA protesters, incited people -- during an election rally to shoot "traitors" by chanting "desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro ***** ko", a young man opened fire at students of Jamia Millia Islamia who were holding a peaceful march towards Rajghat to commemorate the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who was gunned down on January 30, 1948 by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu supremacist fanatic.
A young man named Shadab, a student of the Jamia’s mass communication and research centre, was shot at and is reportedly undergoing treatment in All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
The incident took place as the peaceful march began from Jamia's Gate Number 7 and reached the varsity's Sports Complex. A young man, who is said to have been identified as one Gopal, appeared brandishing a pistol and confronting students who were marching ahead. This is despite heavy police deployment in the area.
Spotting a weapon in his hand, some journalists covering the march and students alerted the police deployed there and asked them to stop him. By the time the police went close to the man to overpower him, he opened fire. He was caught by the students and handed over to the police who are now questioning him.
The man who fired was reportedly said ’Yeh lo Azaadi” ( a reference to the popular freedom slogan being raised in countrywide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Population Register and the proposed National Register of Indian Citizens) and also shouted "Jai Shri Ram" (a chant associated with Hindutva outfits.
"We were moving towards the Holy Family Hospital where the police had raised barricades. Suddenly, a gun-wielding man came out and opened fire. One bullet hit my friend's hand," Aamna Asif, a student of economics at the university, told PTI.
Al-Ameen, another student, said the man was brandishing his pistol and shouted "Yeh lo azaadi (Here, take your freedom)".
The students were heading from Jamia to Mahatma Gandhi's memorial in Rajghat.
After the march was stopped at the Holy Family Hospital near the university, the students squatted in the area, asking the police to go back.
Blaming recent statements by BJP leaders for the incident, Communist Party of India general secretary D Raja told PTI that: "Jamia firing incident a direct result of provocative statements made by BJP leaders during campaigning in Delhi. BJP leader Anurag Thakur should be arrested for his comments urging crowds to raise slogan of shoot the traitors".
The CPI(M) too said that hate speech, call to violence by ministers and BJP leaders, and silence of PM has led to this shameful outcome in Jamia.
Later Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, while commenting on the incident, put the ball in Amit Shah's court, saying "Delhi's law and order deteriorating, please take care of it." The Delhi Police comes directly under Home Ministry.
With Inputs From PTI