Sunday, December 10, 2023

Jamia shooter Gopal arrested over anti-Muslim speech

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Ram Bhakt Gopal, a Hindutva activist who shot a student at Jamia Millia Islamia during anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests last year, has been arrested by Haryana police for making hate speech against Muslims.

Gopal was arrested at Sikanderpur Badha village, said the police. The arrest came following the registration of a First Information Report against him under the sections of 153A and 295 of the IPC late on Sunday night on a complaint by a resident of Jamalpur village named Dinesh. The case was registered at Pataudi police station.

He has been sent to judicial custody, reported ANI news agency.

On July 4, he made a speech at the Hindutva charged Mahapanchayat in Pataudi in Haryana that had reportedly been organised to malign Muslims in the state. 18 year old Gopal started his speech chanting “Jai Shri Ram!” and ended by calling for Muslims to be attacked.

Gopal asked Hindus to take revenge by abducting Muslim women. He asked, “Can’t we abduct a ‘Salma’?” “Ek baar apne college se baahar to niklo, hum bataaenge kiski kabar khudegi, aur kiski nai” (Once you come out of the college..we shall tell you whose graves shall be dug),” he further said. “Jab mulle katey jayenge…” Gopal started, and the crowd completed his sentence, “Tab Ram Ram chilayenge”. When Muslims are stabbed, they will scream the name of Ram.

Last year, Gopal had shot at students protesting against CAA and NRC outside Jamia Milia University, with Delhi police officials looking on a short distance away. His bullets injured one student.

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

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, Gopal 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.

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”.

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