A Jamia Millia Islamia student was shot at and injured on Thursday by a young man, who shouted “kisko chahiye aazadi, mai doonga aazadi (whoever wants freedom, I shall give freedom)” before firing his handgun at an anti-CAA protest.
The victim, who received a bullet injury in the arm and has been admitted to the AIIMS trauma centre for treatment, was identified as Shadab Farooq, a mass communication student.
The shooter, whose identity and pictures brandishing a country-made handgun went viral on social media during the day, claimed he was a juvenile, the police said.
“He has told us he is a juvenile; we are verifying the claim,” Special Commissioner of Police Praveer Ranjan, said. A case under the Arms Act and attempt to murder had been registered, police officials added.
Earlier, before firing his weapon at Mr. Farooq, the assailant had posted on his Facebook page “Shaheen Bagh khel khatam (Shaheen Bagh game over).
This reporter, who was present during the incident, saw the assailant emerge from the crowd, brandish his weapon, open fire and then stand and hand over his weapon to a policeman who accosted him.
Several policemen posted at the protest venue, who were standing about 50 metres from the assailant, appeared to have been caught off guard by the shooter’s actions. The policemen then surrounded the assailant, bundled him into a police vehicle and took him to the Greater Kailash-I police station, where senior officers are believed to have interrogated him.
Soon after the shooting, which happened about 3 km from the ongoing protest against the CAA-NRC at Shaheen Bagh, thousands of people joined the students who were trying to march from Jamia to Rajghat on Gandhiji’s martyrdom day.
Late in the evening, University officials could be seen trying to pacify the protesters, who had overturned some of the police barricades. Police officials said the protest began thinning out after they released some of the activists who had earlier been detained at the spot.
Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted in Hindi that he had directed the Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik to oversee the probe into the “firing incident” at Jamia.
In response to Mr. Shah, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Twitter: “What is happening in Delhi. The law and order situation is deteriorating in Delhi.”
In a separate tweet, AAP leader and MP Sanjay Singh claimed that the BJP was afraid of losing the elections in Delhi, which is why its leaders were making provocative statements. “The attack in Jamia is a part of this,” he asserted.