Gurugram Court denies bail to ‘Jamia Shooter’ in a Hate Speech case

The man identified as Rambhagat Gopal reportedly told a crowd at a Mahapanchayat in Haryana, to abduct Muslim women and to also kill other Muslims

Bail ApplicationImage

A Gurugram court in Pataudi has rejected the bail application of Rambhagat Gopal for allegedly making communal speeches at a Mahapanchayat in Pataudi. Rambhagat Gopal is also infamous as the Jamia shooter, who held up a gun and shot at protesters near Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University in January last year, injuring one.

Rambhagat was booked for under sections 153-A and 295-A of the Indian Penal Code for voluntarily participating in an event and giving “hate speeches targeting a particular religious community and used inflammatory language to instigate the mob to abduct girls of particular religious community and to kill persons of that community.”

Judicial Magistrate Mohammad Sageer perused the FIR and the video recording available, and noted that it was clear that a gathering was present where he gave hate speeches and used inflammatory language, and raised slogans in the name of religion to kill persons of particular religious community.

The order read, “The act of the accused i.e., hate speech qua instigating abduction and killing of girls and persons of a particular religious community is itself a form of violence and such people and their inflammatory speeches are an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit. It leads to destruction of our society as people will fight based on religion. Religious tolerance is the need of the time and not Intolerance. It is necessary for individuals within the society to get along, especially when a variety of cultures and the people with different religious beliefs live in one community or nation.”

In his strongly worded order, Judge Sageer explained how the situation is getting out of hand with the Police failing to get matters into control. He said, “Hate speech based on religion or caste has become fashion nowadays and police also seem to be helpless in dealing with such incidents. Such kind of people who are trying to create disharmony and impart hatred amongst the common people are actually harming this country more than the pandemic.”

He also observed that Hate Speech lays down the groundwork for later, broad attacks on vulnerable that can range from “discrimination, to ostracism, segregation, deportation, violence and, in the most extreme cases, to genocide.” Hate speech also impacts a protected group’s ability to respond to the substantive ideas under debate, thereby placing a serious barrier to their full participation in our democracy, he said.

Further ruling that the alleged offenses committed by Rambhagat are “very serious and severe in nature”, and that the consequences of these kinds of activities may be far more dangerous and it may translate into communal violence, the court rejected his bail plea.

“This Court does not find any reasons to enlarge the accused person on bail as there is every possibility that a law-and-order situation may arise and that the accused person may again indulge in such unconstitutional and illegal activities and actually disturb the communal harmony and peace of the society. If he is allowed to be out of jail then there is a strong possibility that he can affect the investigation and threaten the complainant and other witnesses and it may cause prejudice to the free, fair and full investigation. At this juncture, rights of the accused of his personal liberty cannot be preferred against the right of the society in peaceful communal harmony and balance lies in favour of the later”, read the order.

On January 30, 2020, when Rambhagat was only 17 years old, he had opened fired on a group of protesters near Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMIU), who were protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and demanding on Martyrs Day, a return to Gandhian values of peace, inclusion and tolerance. 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 students’ march to Rajghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s samadhi. The Jamia shooter reportedly said, “Kisko chahiye azadi, yeh lo azaadi,” (Who wants freedom? Here’s your freedom!) before he fired his gun. A man identified as Shadaab was injured in the firing and a video of the incident went viral on social media.

In the present case, where he has been booked for Hate Speech, he stood up and told the crowd of like-minded people to “abduct Muslim women”, and boasted that if he could go over a 100 kilometres away and “into Jamia in support of CAA”, “Pataudi is not very far”. His warning was for those he called “jihadis”. He said, “Pataudi se kewal itni chetavani dena chaahta hoon, un… jihadiyon, aatankwadi mansikta ke logon ko, jab sau kilometre door Jamia ja sakta hoon CAA ke samarthan mein, toh Pataudi zyada door nahin hai.” (From Pataudi I want to warn Jihadis, those with a terrorist mindset, when I can go 100 kilometres away into Jamia in support of CAA, then Pataudi is not very far). He reportedly also chanted “Jai Sri Ram” and the crowd at the Mahapanchayat in Pataudi echoed his mood. 

The entire order may be read here: 


Mahapanchayats and hate panchayats are not the same
Gunman fires at protesters near Jamia, injures one



Related Articles