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Shooter, a class 12 student, was ‘disturbed’ for over one month

By Shafaque Alam
PUBLISHED ON JAN 30, 2020 11:40 PM IST

Jewar: The boy, accused of first brandishing a gun at an anti-CAA protest near Jamia Millia Islamia, is a class 12 student at a private school in Jewar. In his class 10 certificate and the Aadhaar card, his date of birth is mentioned as April 8, 2002.

A resident of Ghodiwala village in Greater Noida, the boy flaunted a countrymade gun and then shot at a student protester. Some residents in his village said he had started recently started meeting “anti-social elements” and advocating “strong nationalistic” views.

“It appears some people have brainwashed him. He had been posting offensive photos and comments on his social media account for past two years,” said Rizwan, a local resident.

The minor lives with his parents and a 13-year-old brother. His father runs a confectionery shop and mother works as a teacher in a private school in the neighbourhood.

On Thursday, as news of his involvement in the attack spread, many people gathered at his two-storey house. However, when HT reached his house, only the accused’s grandfather was in the house. His parents had gone to attend a wedding in Jhajjar.

“My grandson studies in a private school. Like every morning, on Thursday he packed his bag and said he was going to school,” the boy’s grandfather said.He said neighbours informed him in the afternoon that his grandson has been caught by the police.

“We do not know what made him take such a step and how he got a gun. There is no licensed or any unauthorized firearm at our house,” he said.

Local residents said that the boy has been “disturbed” over the past one month. “He was not behaving well for the past few days. It appeared he was unwell. But we did not suspect him to take such an extreme step,” said Vikash Sharma, a neighbour.

Praveer Ranjan, special commissioner of police, Delhi Police’s crime branch, said the boy has been booked for attempt to murder and under the Arms Act. “The boy has claimed that he is a minor. The media too has come up with documents that show him to be a minor. But we are yet to officially ascertain his age,” said Ranjan.

The officer said the boy had mingled with the protesters and suddenly emerged from between them while flashing a gun, an act that allegedly left the police believing that he himself was a protester.

Vijay Bhati, Gautam Budh Nagar, BJP president, said that he does not know the suspect. “I have been associated with BJP for several years. He is not a BJP worker,” he said. Bhati condemned the incident, saying nobody has the right to indulge in violence.

Kumar Ranvijay Singh, ADCP Greater Noida, said a police team has reached the village. “There is no criminal record of minor in the local police station. His immediate family members were not available. The Gautam Budh Nagar police have not received a complaint in this regard,” he said.

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