Kapil Gujjar, the second person to open fire in Delhi in less than a week, is at the centre of a tug-of-war between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), two days ahead of the Delhi elections.
The area has now become the epicentre of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Delhi, with women at the forefront. BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, have seized on the opportunity to polarise Delhi’s electorate by discrediting the women of the area as “anti-nationals”. BJP leaders had also falsely alleged that the protesters were “paid” by politicians to sway Delhi’s voters.
On Tuesday, the Delhi Police’s crime branch announced that Gujjar was an AAP member, based on some photos they recovered from his phone (and got a rap from the EC as well). While the AAP dismissed this as a conspiracy, Gujjar’s father’s comments have complicated the incident even more. Here’s everything you need to know:
‘Followers of Modi, Shah’
While the BJP has claimed that the AAP is responsible for the shooting, Gaje Singh, Gujjar’s father, has categorically denied this.
He told ANI, “My son is a supporter of Modi... He was a follower of Modi and Amit Shah... My son always speaks of Hindustan and Hindutva.”
Photos of Gujjar wearing AAP caps had done the rounds of social media, but his father said that they were made to wear those caps when AAP workers came campaigning in their area.
Singh said his son was angry because the road block at Shaheen Bagh had affected his work.
EC rap for Delhi police
The Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday removed DCP crime, Rajesh Deo, from Delhi poll duty in light of his comments on Gujjar.
Deo had claimed that photos from a deleted WhatsApp group on Gujjar’s phone had revealed that he was an AAP member.
Meanwhile, Special Commissioner (Intelligence) Praveer Ranjan claimed that Gujjar “had confessed” during interrogation that he was an AAP member.
“In reaction to a press query, I have to say that during the interrogation Kapil Gujjar has himself admitted that he along with his father has acquired the membership of AAP in May 2019. Further investigation is underway. The court has also given two days’ remand for probing the case. We will respond to you accordingly,” Ranjan had said.
AAP had denied any connection with Gujjar and approached the Election Commission over the issue.
PTI quoted the poll panel as saying in a letter to the Delhi Police commissioner. “The Commission has considered the matter in detail and is of the considered view that the above-referred statements referring to a political party at this stage even as the investigation is still going on has the effect of adversely impacting the elections.”
“This action was totally uncalled for. The conduct on the part of Rajesh Deo has consequences on the holding of free and fair elections.”
The Delhi police reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs, led by Amit Shah. They have come under heavy criticism since December for a brutal crackdown on Jamia students and for their inaction when outsiders attacked JNU students.
AAP vs BJP
Both the AAP and the BJP have sought to earn political mileage from the incident that left the people of Delhi in shock. It came days after a teenager opened fire at an anti-CAA protest outside Jamia Millia Islamia, injuring a student.
BJP President JP Nadda had claimed the incident had exposed AAP. The BJP chief had said, “For political longing, Kejriwal and his people even sold the security of the country. Earlier, Kejriwal used to insult the Army and advocate terrorists, but today, relations with those who carry out their terrorist activities came to light,” he said.
However, AAP attacked the BJP calling this a conspiracy.
AAP leader Atishi tweeted about the incident, saying, “48 hours left before elections and the BJP dirty tricks department is at play, since their own surveys are showing them being defeated badly. Lets see what more lies and dirt they try in the next 2 days!”
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “Do you think we are capable of planning such a shooting? His family has said he has nothing to do with AAP. Such petty stunts 48 hours before elections... Anyone can tell they are using the police before the polls.”