The Delhi Police are investigating videos that raise questions about the police claim that guns were not used during the violence that broke out on Sunday evening during the protest by the students of Jamia Millia Islamia against the new citizenship law. In response to a few claims of bullet injuries, senior police officers earlier said it was possible that the people were hit by shards of tear gas shells, which on certain occasions have proved fatal.
In one of the videos now being investigated, shot near Mathura Road, a policeman can be seen drawing out a gun and opening fire. After firing in the air, he is seen running towards a bylane as more gunshots ring out. At least four gunshots are heard in the video.
NDTV cannot independently verify the authenticity of the video.
The video correlates with another cellphone video, purportedly shot in the same area, which shows a protestor falling from what appears to be a gunshot injury. The protestor, Ajaz, a student at Jamia University, has been admitted to Delhi's Safdarjung hospital for a bullet injury.Before he falls, a police officer, presumably the same one from the first video who was firing his weapons, emerges from behind a bus.
"That video is also part of a probe and I would not like to say anything beyond that," a senior-level officer in charge of the investigation told NDTV. When asked, the officer acknowledged that station-level officers often carry small weapons, like 9mm handguns or Glock pistols.
"There are lots of videos on social media. We are examining each one of those to identify miscreants also," he added.
Other police sources now say the officers had opened fire in self-defence.
"The police are also closely monitoring some social media handles in the national capital to check the spread of wrong information, which led to protests and violence," a senior home ministry official said.
On Monday, the police had categorically denied using firearms. "We have not shot anyone and we do not have rubber bullets," Joint Commissioner of Police Devesh Srivastava had said.
According to him, even in the case of yesterday's violence in northeast Delhi's Seelampur, the police got lots of footage from drone cameras, which they are analysing. "A number of miscreants involved in the violence have been identified and action is being taken against them," the officer added.
So far, eight people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in violence at Jaffarabad and Seelampur while protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and three First Information Reports have been registered, the police said.
"We are monitoring some social media accounts to check the spread of misinformation. Appropriate action will be taken if anyone is found violating the laws," a senior official said.
On Wednesday, the situation in Delhi remained by and large peaceful, but Section 144 was imposed in some localities in the North-East district.