A man carrying a gun was caught today at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, the venue of mega protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. The man had walked into the protest ground and allegedly brandished the weapon till he was overpowered by the surrounding protesters, eyewitnesses said.
The matter was caught on camera by the locals, and the video has been doing the rounds of social media.
The police said they are yet to receive a complaint on the matter, which is under inspection.
Sources said the man has been identified as Haji Lukman, a local, who came with several others, aiming to get the protesters off the road. But this led led to an argument with the protesters and Lukman's companions left, leaving him behind.
The pistol he was carrying was licensed, sources said, adding that the police are still verifying the details.
Shaheen Bagh Official, a Twitter handle which posts updates from the protest site, posted: "An official and urgent appeal from Shaheen Bagh: armed anti-social elements have entered the protest area. We fear that more right-wing groups could enter and launch an attack. We appeal to all to join the protest, strengthen our numbers and prevent any violence."
A minute later, it tweeted an update.
"Infiltrators have been caught and neutralised, and the situation is back to normal. However, we are on alert for more such incidents today and in the coming days as we reach elections in Delhi. Please reach Shaheen Bagh and sites across Delhi in large numbers," the post read.
The incident comes as Shaheen Bagh was mentioned in hate speeches by BJP's Union minister Anurag Thakur.
In a widely circulated video which is being examined by the Election Commission, the minister can be seen urging a crowd to chant the "goli maaro" - or shoot down traitors -- slogan while campaigning northwest Delhi's Rithala.
The minister can be seen prompting "desh ke gaddaron ko..." to which the crowd responds "...goli maaro sa***n ko". The chant translates to "shoot down the traitors who betray the country".
The minister's actions have been slammed by the opposition Congress and the Shiv Sena, which have accusing the BJP of hate mongering.
"Disappointing to see a young leader like #AnuragThakur provoking to make such poisonous slogans during electioneering. This seems to be the modus operandi of the entire party," tweeted Congress's Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
But Mr Thakur was defiant. Asked who he believed were the "traitors" who need to be shot down, he said: "First you should watch the entire video... Then you should see the mood of the people of Delhi."