Monday, December 11, 2023

Delhi violence: Chargesheet omits pro-CAA shooters while calling JMI students, Shaheen Bagh protesters ‘conspirators’

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Gopal Sharma (left) and Kapil Gujjar (right)

The latest charge sheets filed in connection with the Delhi pogrom have made no mention of two members of Hindu fringe groups who fired at Jamia Millia Islamia students and Shaheen Bagh women protesters and laid the blame squarely on students and women protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA at the time. 

In a 1,500-word chronology of events — starting from Jamia students’s anti-CAA protests on December 13 and continuing till February 25 — the Delhi Police have nowhere mentioned Gopal Sharma and Kapil Gujjar, the two young men who shouted pro-CAA slogans while firing protesting women and students.

Charge sheet includes Jamia students protest in ‘Chronology’ and omits Gopal Sharma who fired protesting students

Police listed protest by Jamia Millia Islamia students and local residents of Jamia Nagar against CAA in the ‘chronology’ in the charge sheet in Ankit Sharma murder case and said the riots were a planned conspiracy by the anti-CAA protesters.

In the charge sheets, police mentions the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) and calls them conspirators.

“Investigation has revealed that the protest site (where Lal was killed) was managed by the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC),” the police said in the charge sheet in Ratal Lal murder case.

While talking about the formation of JCC, JCC’s roadblock protest round the clock against CAA, and ‘hate speeches’ (anti-CAA speeches) delivered by the activists at the protest site, the charge sheet not mentioned Gopal Sharma, the gunman Ram Bhagat Gopal Sharma.

Who is Gopal Sharma?

Gopal Sharma has fired at an anti-CAA protest rally of students near the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University on 30 January. The assailant brandished a single-barrel weapon and shouted slogans against the protesters before firing at them, wounding a Kashmiri student.

The shooting came just days after BJP leader and Union Minister Anurag Thakur, encouraged his supporters at a state election rally in New Delhi to chant slogans, calling for “traitors to be shot”.

Name: Gopal Sharma

Age: 17

Residency: He is a resident of the Jewar neighbourhood of Gautam Buddha Nagar district in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Attire: A photograph taken by the Reuters news agency showed him, dressed in a black jacket and brandishing a single-barrel weapon, standing meters away from dozens of policemen deployed outside the university.

Moments before firing: He was shouting, ‘Delhi Police Zindabad’ [long live Delhi police] and ‘Who wants Aazadi [freedom], come, I’ll shoot you’.” In the videos capturing the attack, the man can be seen yelling ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘ye lo azadi‘ while asking protesters to chant ‘Vande Mataram‘ if they want to live in India.

Political affiliations: His Facebook account also revealed his apparent hatred towards Muslims and his associations with the Hindu militant and nationalist organizations including BJP. Gopal’s Facebook page, now suspended by Facebook India, showed that he called himself a “Rambhakt” (devotee of Lord Ram).

Gopal’s Facebook profile suggested he is a member of Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

Social Media Profile: He was live on Facebook just before the attack, the page showed.

Hours before he shot at the JMI student, Gopal made several posts on his Facebook page, in which he threatened the protesters and asked his friends to follow his activities.

Koi Hindu media nahin hai yahan‘ (No Hindu media here), “Main yahan akela Hindu hoon” (I am the only Hindu here), he posted on Facebook.

“Shaheen Bagh, tera khel khatm (your game is over),” read one of his posts.

In another Facebook post on Thursday, Gopal wrote: “Meri antim yatra pe mujhe bhagwa me le jaiye aur Jai Shri Ram ke naare hon (On my final journey, drape me in saffron clothes and chant Hail Lord Ram).”

Gopal posted on January 28, “Dhyan de. 31st tarik tak meri posto ko nazar andaaz na kare” (Attention! Don’t ignore my posts till the 31st).

Police inaction and action: Delhi Police stood, arms folded, and at a distance while Gopal fired at students. Soon after firing, the shooter was taken into custody.

Charge sheet lists Shaheen Bagh protest in the ‘chronology of Delhi riot’ and no mentions about Kapil Gujjar who fired Shaheen Bagh protests

Without a shred of evidence, the democratic and peaceful protests at Shaheen Bagh against CAA was projected as breeding grounds of Delhi riot in the charge sheets.

Police listed the beginning of Shaheen Bagh sit-in on December 16 in its chronology of events leading up to the riots and said the protest ’caused inconvenience to a large number of persons’.

In the description of Shaheen Bagh protest, the document omits an incident in which Kapil Gujjar, a gunman fired at protesting women.

Who is Kapil Gujjar?

Delhi: Shaheen Bagh shooter Kapil Gujjar gets bail

Two days after Gopal Sharma shot at Jamia students, another firing has been reported at Shaheen Bagh protest site on 1 February. No protester was wounded after Kapil fired a gun at women protesters.

Name: Kapil Gujjar

Age: 25

Residency: Kapil Gujjar is a resident of Dallupura village on the outskirts of Delhi.

Moments before firing: He shouted “Jai Shri Ram” (Hail Lord Ram) as he fired two to three shots. “Only Hindus will prevail in this country. This country is ours,”Kapil also shouted. As per the eyewitnesses, he also shouted “Hindu Rashtra Zindabad” 

Police inaction and action: Witness saying the gunman fired at the protesters, “while police officers were standing just behind him”.

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