Opposition parties and several Twitter users are criticising the Delhi Police after videos emerged of them seeming to stand by while a man threatened to open fire at an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest outside the Jamia Millia Islamia University on Thursday.
He shouted “yeh lo azaadi” and “Delhi Police zindabad” at the protesters, according to reports. In the video tweeted by ANI, the man can be seen walking on a road and waving a gun as Delhi Police officials silently look on. It is only after he moves closer to the police while still brandishing a gun that some officers come forward and get hold of him.
The man, who has now reportedly been identified as a minor, opened fire, injuring one student. The Delhi Police have taken him into custody.
Aamna Asif, a student at Jamia, told Scroll that the police did not help them. “We shouted at the top of our voice to the police to help us. We don’t know why the police did not do anything.”
Several people on Twitter criticised the police after the videos and photos from the incident went viral. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demanded the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah, saying he has tied the hands of the police. The Delhi Police reports to Shah.
“The Delhi Police would have taken action but Home Minister Amit Shah has tied their hands. This is Amit Shah’s conspiracy to remove the Arvind Kejriwal government,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh was quoted as saying by India Today.
Congress also tweeted that the “Delhi police is standing idly by as a man shoots at peaceful protestors” and asked what kind of police force Shah is running.
Shah later tweeted that the government will not tolerate such incidents and the culprit will not be spared.
The Delhi Police, according to The Indian Express, claimed that things had happened too fast for it to act. Special CP Crime Praveer Ranjan was quoted as saying in the report, “By the time police could react, the person had already fired. Everything happened in a split second. Investigation is on.”
SHO Jamia Nagar Upender Singh said, “The accused had his back towards us and we couldn’t see the gun. As soon as he fired the gun, we acted swiftly and caught him,” The Indian Express report added.
Editor’s note: This article has been edited to removed the name of the shooter as several news reports say he is a minor. His photo has also been blurred.