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New Delhi
Sunday 5 July 2020

‘Gopal’ media-assigned name, Jamia shooter a minor: Police

An officer said the photographs of 'Gopal' that the media published could not have had such clarity if taken at the moment he fired the shot

‘Gopal’, the gunman who opened fire near the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia at demonstrators protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), may actually be nothing that his social media profiles claim. On Thursday afternoon, minutes before he shot at Shadab Farukh, a student activist, he was live on Facebook, even the mainstream media says. What social media ‘warriors’ question are his other claimed identity tags.

Nupur J Sharma, editor of OpIndia has tweeted: “While in custody, Gopal’s ‘Hindutva centric’ FB page gets deactivated and another profile gets activated. He is seen wearing a Congress scarf. After our report, that profile has also been deactivated. A well-hatched conspiracy?”

Replying to Sharma (@UnSubtleDesi) and tagging the founder of the site Rahul Roushan (@rahulroushan), the first respondent to the tweet above said, “Wearing Congress Scarf and See what is written Member of BJP, Bajrang Dal OR RSS. Ek shot mein sab ko add kar diyaAgar Ye planning plotting nahin hai to kya hai? (Added everything in one go. If this is not planning and plotting, what is?)”

The footage available to the media is selfie-video. The attacker, who mentioned the names of any organisation of similar ideological shades in his profile description, is seen walking in the Jamia area in a black sleeveless bomber jacket. He looks around, finds something, and fires!

Police sources say ‘Gopal’ is a media-assigned name, which they would neither authenticate nor reject

Even as the police was barricading the area and diverting traffic to other routes and Shadab Farukh was taken to the Holy Family Hospital and thereon to AIIMS, social media users dug out the fact that the previous posts of ‘Gopal’ had come prepared. “On my last journey, drape me in saffron and shout slogans of Jai Shri Ram,” he wrote in a post. In another post, he wrote, “Shaheen Bagh, Game Over”. Then there was a post regretting the fact that “Hindu media” was not on the spot.

Sources in the police told Sirf News he was a juvenile who hailed from Jewar of Uttar Pradesh. When asked how a minor got hold of a firearm, they said they were “investigating this angle”.

The police were asked further whether the name of the arrested ‘minor’ was Gopal. They said it was a media-assigned name, which they would neither authenticate nor reject.

However, an officer under the condition of anonymity said the photographs of this ‘Gopal’ could not have such clarity if shot at the moment he fired at the protesters in the Jamia area.

Widely followed on social media, Prashant Patel Umrao called it a staged event.

These questions notwithstanding, since the police are saying the accused is a minor, Sirf News has blurred his face in the featured image above.

Back in the Jamia area, as expected, Muslims are blaming the police. “We were standing near the barricades when suddenly this outsider, whom none of us recognised, tried to disturb the peace. He marched forward with a revolver in his hand. We were all trying to stop him and calm him down. The policemen remained standing there. He shot one of our friends when we tried to disarm him,” Aamna Asif, a student of Jamia Millia Islamia told television news channel NDTV.

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