This Article is From Mar 05, 2020

New Videos Surface Of Shooters In Delhi Violence, But Cops Say Yet To Probe

Delhi Violence: In one video, a mob is seen gathered on the rooftop of Mohan Nursing Home, a medical centre in violence-hit Yamuna Vihar. In it, a man, in a black jacket and helmet fires a rifle at a crowd below.

Delhi violence: In one video, a man on the rooftop of a building fires a rifle at a crowd below.

New Delhi:

New videos showing guns being fired in Delhi last week underscore the worrying use of firearms in the course of the violence that has left 49 people dead and hundreds injured.

Of the 39 deaths during the violence for which causes are known, at least 12, just over one-third, of those killed have died of gunshot injuries, hospital records suggest.

At least 97 have gunshot injuries.

Police say at least 40 country-made guns have been seized, and 45 cases have been registered under the Arms Act. But it is unclear whether these are linked to the deadly shooting incidents connected to the violence.

So far, the only known shooter arrested is Shahrukh, a young man from Jaffrabad in northeast Delhi, who was seen in viral videos waving a gun at a policeman.

He was arrested a week later in Uttar Pradesh.

The police say his gun has not been recovered, but they have identified it as a semiautomatic 7.65 bore pistol, which Shahrukh reportedly bought two years ago from Bihar's Munger district, notorious for its illegal arms factories.

But in other instances of shooters caught on camera, it's unclear what action the police have taken.

In one video, a mob is seen gathered on the rooftop of Mohan Nursing Home, a medical centre in violence-hit Yamuna Vihar. In it, a man, in a black jacket and helmet, fires a rifle at a crowd below.

The video, reportedly shot by Muslim residents of Chand Bagh, between 4 pm and 6 pm on February 24, shows others on the rooftop of Mohan Nursing Home, throwing stones in the direction of Chand Bagh.

Ayesha, a resident who lives in Chand Bagh directly across the road from the nursing home, and whose home was burnt by those indulging in violence, witnessed the mob. "I saw at least 50 people on the rooftop of Mohan Nursing Home. Most of those people were helmets and had sticks in their hands. I don't know who they were. I had left by the time shots were fired. I did see stone-throwing from there," she said.

Navneet Gupta, who runs a coaching centre right next to the nursing home, says he too could not identify those on the rooftop of the nursing home, but says they may have acted out of self-defence.

The mobs from Chand Bagh vandalised his coaching centre, and damaged the nursing home.

We tried to contact the owner of the nursing home, Sunil Mohan, on four successive days, but to no avail.

Staff at the hospital told us they had vacated the hospital by 3:30 pm, and mobs may have taken over the terrace after that. They claimed that all the devices which had the CCTV footage had been taken away by mobs.

Police officials at the Bhajanpura Police Station, under which the hospital falls, did not respond to queries over whether they are probing the incident.

Another instance of a gun being fired has been captured from a CCTV camera in Brahmpuri, a violence-hit area.

As a group of men advance down a narrow lane, one of them is seen taking out a gun, and firing it down the road repeatedly.

His face is initially visible, before he attempts to mask it.

The time stamp on the video places it on the night of February 25, around 2 am.

We traced the location where the CCTV was located.

Asif, a local, said the firing was by people from the same neighborhood.

Parvez, a student, said the mob was chanting slogans of "Jai Shri Ram". "We were in our homes in street number 13 and when we came out they were chanting these slogans," he said.

One of the men in the video seen walking with a lathi in his hand was identified by locals as Shyam Behari, a driver who lives in the area.

Behari , as well as the others seen in the video were said to be "followers" of a local strongman from Brahmpuri, Shankar Lal Gautam.

When we contacted Mr Gautam, he accepted that the mob was made up of local youth who were defending their area (from Muslims indulging in violence), but claimed the gun seen in the video was a water pistol.

"Our boys had gone to see what's happening. We didn't have guns; we had plastic guns (pichkaari) type items. The Hindu community doesn't use weapons," he said.

Mr Gautam denied any political affiliation. His Facebook feed, however, is mostly made up of posts in support of the BJP. In one of his posts, he calls for action in Delhi akin to that taken by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, to control the anti-citizenship law protests.

Police officials said so far they have not come across the video, but will take action if necessary.