Shaheen Bagh shooter’s family denies link with AAP

The family of the man who fired  shots at the Shaheen Bagh protest in Delhi last week has denied that he is linked to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), contradicting the claims of the Delhi police.

Last evening, the police said Kapil Gujjar, 25, who shouted “Jai Shri Ram” as he fired shots near the anti-citizenship law protest at Shaheen Bagh in south Delhi on Saturday, had confessed to being a member of AAP. They also released a photo from the shooter’s phone that they said established him as an AAP member, wearing the party’s trademark cap.

In the pictures  Kapil Gujjar is seen with senior AAP leaders like Sanjay Singh and Atishi, however his father and brother have denied any connection with Delhi’s ruling party.

“Neither me nor my family has anything to do with AAP. They came to campaign during the Lok Sabha election (last year) and made us all wear AAP caps and that is what the photo is,” Kapil’s father Gaje Singh said.

“I used to be in BSP and fought an election as BSP candidate in 2012. After that I was unwell so I quit politics. We have nothing to do with politics. This time, when the BJP candidate came to campaign here, I garlanded him too like I would welcome any other candidate,” he added.

Kapil Gujjar had fired two or three times in the air, standing near the spot where hundreds of women and children were sitting. While being led away, he was heard saying: “In our country only Hindus will prevail.”

Photos from Kapil’s phone established that he and his father had joined AAP a year ago, said Rajesh Deo, a senior officer of the Crime Branch. Some of the photos were leaked and had been circulating earlier in the day.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh had yesterday hit out at the Delhi Police, pointing out that it reports to the home ministry headed by Amit Shah.

“At this time now, just before elections, photos and conspiracies will be found. The BJP will do as much dirty politics as they can. What does having a picture with someone mean?” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. He also threatened to send a legal notice to the police officer who made the claim.

The 50-day protest at Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has become a key rallying point ahead of the Delhi election on Saturday. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP have accused the BJP of running a polarizing campaign centered on Shaheen Bagh and trying to distract attention from development issues.

After the police revelation, the BJP, which has repeatedly accused AAP of engineering the anti-CAA protests and supporting them, said the party had been exposed.

Saturday’s shooting – the second since another shooter fired at protesters in Jamia — took place after a series of hate speeches from senior BJP leaders like Yogi Adityanath and union minister Anurag Thakur, who was caught encouraging slogans of shoot the traitors at a rally. The BJP leaders have portrayed those protesting against the citizenship law as “traitors”.

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