Jamia shooting case: JJB sends teenage attacker sent to 28-day protective custody in observation home
The 17-year-old who fired at a crowd outside Jamia Millia Islamia, and injured a postgraduate student, reportedly told the police that his plan was to go to Shaheen Bagh, where people are protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act , but an autorickshaw driver dropped him at the university campus.
The teenager from Jewar in Greater Noida was sent to a 28-day protective custody by a Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) on Friday.
Police said the minor, who will write his Class 12 board exams next month, showed no signs of remorse while in their custody for nearly 24 hours.
Investigators said he was “self-radicalised” by watching news and videos on social media regarding the murders of some Hindu leaders such as Chandan Gupta and Kamlesh Tiwari and the anti-CAA protests in Shaheen Bagh.
Gupta was killed in Kasganj on January 26, 2018 while Tiwari was murdered at his house in Lucknow in October last year.
According to the police, the teenager told them his original plan was to “fire in the air” at Shaheen Bagh and “become famous”. “He told us he panicked, feared getting lynched, and fired at the crowd when he saw some of them rushing towards him soon after they saw him brandishing a gun and threatening to shoot them”, said an investigator, requesting anonymity.
“The teenager had purchased the country-made pistol for R10,000 from a person living near his village on Wednesday and left for Shaheen Bagh on Thursday morning. He denied having any links with Hindu organisations or leaders, even as we have learnt he was in contact with one such leader for the past two-three months,” the investigator said.
No senior police officer agreed to share details of the investigation.
POLICE FOR OSSIFICATION TEST
Deputy commissioner of police (crime) Rajesh Deo said the investigating team produced the teenager before the board at Kingsway Camp around 3 pm on Friday. “The JJB sent him to protective custody till February 28 in a correction home for boys,” said Deo.
DCP Deo said an application had been sent to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, requesting constitution of a panel of doctors to conduct the teenager’s bone ossification test to authenticate his claims that he is below 18 years. The teenager’s family produced his Class 10 passing certificate and his Aadhaar card to prove he is a juvenile.
Investigators said they were approaching the Central Board of Secondary Education and the Unique Identification Authority of India to check if the documents were genuine.
A police officer, who was present at the JJB said, “The teenager will be given counselling to de-radicalise him.” The media was not allowed in the courtroom.
“The JJB asked the teenager if he needed a tutor to help him prepare for his Class 12 exams. The boy told the JJB he will inform later. The JJB allowed him to get his books and other study material for preparation,” the officer said.
Police said after reaching Delhi in a bus, the teenager boarded an auto and asked the driver to take him to the protest site in Shaheen Bagh. The driver, however, dropped him near Jamia where several protesters had assembled for a march towards Rajghat.
“Shaheen Bagh khel khatam... azaadi de raha hun (Game over, Shaheen Bagh. I am giving you freedom),” he wrote in a Facebook post moments before he began one of the several short live videos near the place where he opened fire and injured Jamia student Shadab Farooq.
The shot was fired even as a group of policemen, many of them in anti-riot gear, stood and watched for several moments before one of them made a move to restrain him.
The police said they will analyse the teenager’s mobile phone and his social media accounts to check if he was instigated by someone.