The shooter who fired at a protest against the citizenship law near Jamia Millia University in 2020 has sparked another controversy after provocative videos from his Instagram account went viral. The young man, who calls himself "Rambhakt Gopal" and is currently out on bail, has made his account private after several social media users shared the video and called for strict action against him.
Gopal was last year granted bail by a Haryana court after he was arrested for communal speeches against the Muslim community during a 'mahapanchayat' in Pataudi.
One of the videos shows the barrel of a gun pointed out of the car window being used to threaten children who run or walk away and shut doors at the sight of it. The car stops at times when the children are unfazed and moves again only after they shut the doors. The words "Gau Raksha Dal, Mewat road, Haryana" are written in Hindi on the video.
Rambhakt Gopal Sharma uploaded a video on his Instagram where people in car TERRORISING young girls & kids by showing guns. The video caption reads 'Gau Raksha Dal, Mewat road, Haryana'.— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) April 24, 2022
Hello @DGPHaryana@police_haryana, #ArrestRamBhaktGopalpic.twitter.com/IhRTm3dWBm
Another video shows a group of men brandishing pistols and dragging a man into the back seat of an SUV while he lies on the ground and struggles to break free. The men hold his hands and legs and lift him up to dump him in the backseat. The video was reportedly posted with the caption "Taking away the cow smuggler".
Jamia shooter out on bail Rambhakt Gopal uploaded this video on his instagram with caption "Taking away the cow smuggler". Men with pistols can be seen taking away a man. They have full freedom to violate law everyday and still remain free.— Kaushik Raj (@kaushikrj6) April 24, 2022
Insta link: https://t.co/2ydAyjWY6Zpic.twitter.com/wWHImXQbFF
Both the videos have slick editing and rousing background music with hundreds of supportive comments.
After making his Instagram account private following massive social media criticism, the young man has taken to Twitter to respond to those calling for action against him.
@zoo_bear@kaushikrj6 talk about them too , these scared muslims threaten me every day , i got thousands of threats to kill or my sister and my cow mother. They threaten to kill us if we go to Mewat. Mewat is in India and we will not allow cow smuggling here, always remember this pic.twitter.com/u4irYMLNi6— Rambhakt Gopal (@Rambhaktgopal) April 24, 2022
The young man, who has over 13,000 followers on Instagram, is a resident of Jewar in Uttar Pradesh and used to call himself Godse 2.0 - after Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse. He is infamous for regularly posting provocative pictures and videos often featuring private bodyguards and weapons. Several videos on his account are about cow protection where he appears with self-styled cow vigilantes and announces the achievements of his "team" in saving cows.
Even before the shooting incident, he had posted photographs of himself with radical right-wing leaders. He also posted pictures of weapons and messages such as "Shaheen Bagh, game over" and "I am giving Azadi (freedom)". Just moments before he attacked the Jamia students, he had been live streaming on Facebook.
Gopal regularly makes controversial communal remarks at various 'Hindu mahapanchayats' in Haryana. He had last year made headlines for leading a massive crowd at the 'Mahapanchayat' in Haryana's Pataudi where hateful and communal slogans were reportedly raised. He was arrested in the case and later granted bail by a Haryana court.