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Man fires at anti-CAA protesters in New Delhi

Police stand guard at the entrance of the police headquarters in New Delhi on January 30, 2020, as demonstrators gather to demand the police strict actions with a suspected Hindu nationalist who opened fire to demonstrators during a protest against the government’s Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) outside Jamia Millia Islamia University. (Photo by PRAKASH SINGH/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Sarwar Alam

The protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) near Jamia Millia University in New Delhi turned violent on Thursday (January 30) when a man, identified as Rambhakt Gopal, opened fire at protesters.

A student at the University was injured following gunshots. The shooter was later detained.

The injured student has been identified as Shadab Najar from Jammu and Kashmir. The 25-year-old was taken to the AIIMS Trauma Centre. He was shot in the hand.

The students of Jamia were to hold a march to Rajghat on the 72nd death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

‘Rambhakt Gopal’ went to the extent that he posted all his activities on Facebook live just before the incident. The television visuals showed his clad in light coloured pants and a dark jacket.

Before opening fire at people he reportedly said “Yeh lo aazadi (here, take your freedom)” in Hindi.

According to reports, Delhi Police personnel were present at the spot when the shooting took place.

“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,” said an eyewitness to the news agency.

Union Minister Anurag Thakur is now under a 72-hour ban by the Election Commission after he asked in a BJP rally “What should be done with traitors of the country?, and then had them say, “Shoot them”.

It should be noted that on December 15, 2019, Delhi Police had stormed the Jamia campus injuring hundreds of students. Four DTC buses, 100 private vehicles, and 10 police bikes were damaged after the protest against the citizenship law turned violent.

Earlier this week, a 50-year-old man had allegedly threatened protesters at Shaheen Bagh with a pistol. The video shows the man getting on stage with his pistol, but is overpowered by other men at the site.

India is now witnessing protests in almost all parts of the country against CAA on a day-to-day basis.

‘India hopes anti-India protests in London are not repeated’

India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar has said that India has taken up with the British government the issue of anti-India protests outside the Indian High Commission in London recently.

“These incidents create difficulties in the functioning of our High Commission in London,” he said. Raveesh Kumar further said that India hopes anti-India protests in London are not repeated in future.

He termed CAA an internal matter of India. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs said it has noted the European Parliament’s decision to not put to vote a resolution on the citizenship law.

The Ministry clarified that it will continue to engage with the MEPs on the issue. Raveesh Kumar said India has noted European Commission’s clarification that the EU Parliament’s views don’t reflect the official position of the grouping.

He asserted that CAA is an internal matter of India. It has been adopted though due process and democratic means, Kumar said.

“We will continue to engage with the MEPs, the European Parliament and other stakeholders in this matter,” he said.

An anti-India protest was held outside Indian High Commission in London on January 26, India’s Republic day.

Hundreds of people have gathered outside the office criticizing India for withdrawing the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and demanding an end to the ongoing end to the crackdown in the region.

There were similar protests in the past and India had taken up this matter with the UK Foreign Office.

On the Independence day in 2019 violence erupted outside the Indian High Commission by Pakistani supporters.

Eastern Eye

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