The Delhi Police on Thursday told a court that the February 1 shooting in the city’s Shaheen Bagh locality was a “well-thought-out” incident, and added that the gunman needs to be interrogated to ascertain if he was part of any “political conspiracy”, PTI reported.
The police claimed that the shooter, identified as 25-year-old East Delhi resident Kapil Gujjar, did not fire his gun in a rush of blood. “It was a well-thought-out incident,” the police added. “He raised slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘hamare desh me aur kisi ki nahi chalegi, sirf Hinduon ki chalegi [only Hindus shall have a say in our country, no one else]’ to mislead everyone. He fired two rounds in the air. He had purchased 13 cartridges in total. He is also not giving us the location of the other cartridges.”
Additional Commissioner of Police Manoj Pant sought Gujjar’s three-day remand, accusing him of misleading efforts to locate the arms dealer from whom he reportedly purchased the ammunition, and his laptop. “He is not giving the complete address of one Sachin Tiwari, who allegedly supplied arms to him,” he added. “Tiwari is a resident of Bihar and he needs to be taken to Patna to locate and identify the arms dealer. He is misleading the probe agency.”
When the court asked him about the cartridges, Gujjar claimed he had used them during marriage celebrations.
The police said Gujjar is from a family with political history. His father is a former Bahujan Samaj Party politician. The data stored in Gujjar’s phone is voluminous and its complete examination will take time, the police added. The shooter was also not revealing the passwords of his phone, and social media accounts, they added.
Defence counsel Akhil Rexwal vehemently opposed the police’s plea to extend the shooter’s remand, and said Gujjar had given them all possible information. “He is ready to cooperate with the police and join the investigation as and when called,” he added. “He will give his laptop and all other materials required.”
The advocate accused the police of harassing Gujjar. “This is a not a political issue,” he added. “He himself had given to the police the form he filled when he joined AAP. He had joined AAP long back.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Rajesh Deo had told reporters on Tuesday that photographs recovered from Gujjar’s phone established that he had joined the Arvind Kejriwal-led party a year ago along with his father. The police revelation three days ahead of the Delhi Assembly election set off a war of words between the AAP and the Bharatiya Janata Party. However, on Wednesday Deo was taken off poll duty by the Election Commission and warned for making comments about an investigation with “political connotations”.
Gujjar’s father has claimed that the shooter is a “supporter” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He added that Gujjar had “nothing to do with politics”.
After Deo’s comments to the media, the Aam Aadmi Party questioned the police investigation. The party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh accused the officer of acting at the behest of the BJP, and told him to pin the lotus – the saffron party’s symbol – on his shirt.