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Jamia teacher’s body says shooting a direct result of BJP MP’s ‘goli maaron’ slogan

PUBLISHED ON JAN 31, 2020 11:34 PM IST

New Delhi: A day after a person fired at a group of protesters in Jamia Millia Islamia, injuring a 22-year-old student, the university teachers’ association on Friday said it believed the shooting was a direct result of the “goli maaro” slogans raised by BJP MP and minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur at an election rally earlier this week. At that election rally in Rithala, Thakur called out a chant of “desh ke gaddaron ko...” exhorting the audience to finish it, which they did with “goli maaro saalon ko”.

A protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA at Jamia on Thursday was disrupted after a young man, later identified as a teenaged minor, fired at the crowd using a countrymade pistol. A statement issued by the Jamia Teachers’ Association (JTA) secretary, professor Majid Jamil, stated, “We are convinced that this shooting, which could have been fatal, was the direct result of the call to goli maro or “shoot” by an elected Member of Parliament who is also the country’s minister of state for finance. Nothing can be more anti-national than a Minister inciting citizens to violence from a public platform, and we severely condemn his words and action.”

The association further alleged that the MP violated the Indian Constitution and law by exhorting the public to resort to violence. “We acknowledge and record our appreciation of the restraint shown by our students in the face of the grave provocation of their batch mate being injured in a shooting before their very eyes. It is a shame and irony that the cult of the bullet continues to predominate the national discourse in the world’s largest democracy.”

The incident took place during a peaceful protest march called by students of the university against the CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC) on the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Shadab Farooq, a first-year media student at Jamia, received a bullet injury to his left arm. He was rushed to a nearby hospital and later shifted to the AIIMS trauma centre. He was discharged from the hospital on Friday.

Many eyewitnesses of the incident shared their experience during a press conference on Friday. One of Shadab’s friends and a Jamia student, Midhat Samra, said, “We were confident that nothing would happen amid the heavy police presence. Shadab was trying to pacify the attacker. He asked him to put the gun down, but he fired and Shadab got hurt. It all happened despite the number of police officers who were there.”

Throughout the day, students continued their ongoing protests against the CAA and NRC outside gate number 7 of the university, and also shared their anger over the shooting. Zainab Abid, a student of Jamia, said, “It’s a peaceful protest march. We were carrying flags in our hands and there were police officers everywhere. How can a person with a gun appear and shoot a student? We demand strict action against the attacker. He should not be treated as a minor.”

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