On Thursday afternoon, a gunman whose identity cannot be revealed as he is a minor, opened fire on a group of protesters near Jamia Milia Islamia University (JMIU). The group of people, including JMIU students, who were protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and demanding a return to Gandhian values of peace, inclusion and tolerance, were planning to march from the university to Raj Ghat when the incident occurred.
Shockingly, the events unfolded in front of the police and security personnel deployed on the spot as well as in full view of media persons who had gathered to cover the march. The young man reportedly said, “Kisko chahiye azaadi, yeh lo azaadi,” (Who wants freedom? Here’s your freedom!) before he fired his gun. One young man identified as Shadaab was injured in the firing. His hand was covered in blood when he was rushed to the hospital. A video of the incident went viral on social media.
This incident comes just days after BJP’s Anurag Thakur encouraged people attending an election rally in Delhi to shoot traitors. He chanted “desh ke gaddaron ko…” to which the crowd responded with “goli maaro s****n ko” (Gun down traitors to the nation). Another man brandishing a gun had recently entered the site of the sit-in protest at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi. A vast majority of the protesters at Shaheen Bagh are women and there were also many children present at the venue. Luckily people were able to overpower the gunman at Shaheen Bagh and confiscate his weapon before he got a chance to fire it.
At the site of today’s incident though, the police and security personnel made no attempt to stop the gunman. An eyewitness told NDTV, “We were standing near the barricades when suddenly this outsider, whom none of us recognised, tried to disturb the peace of the march. He marches forward with a revolver in his hand. We were all trying to stop him and calm him down. The policemen were standing there. We tried to approach them to stop that guy. But they just kept standing there simply. When we tried to take the revolver from his hand, he shot one of our friends.”