The man, who became infamous in 2020 shooting at an anti-Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) protester outside Delhi's Jamia Milia Islamia during the riots, has once again sparked controversy with videos uploaded by him going viral on social media.
The shooter, who goes as Rambhakt Gopal, turned his Instagram settings to private after videos of him were shared on Twitter in which he is pointing a gun at people, mostly women and children as the vehicle passes by houses on the streets. People run indoors, shutting their doors behind them as they fear for their lives. The caption is “Gau Raksha Dal, Mewat Road.”
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'.
Hello @DGPHaryana @police_haryana, #ArrestRamBhaktGopalpic.twitter.com/IhRTm3dWBm
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) April 24, 2022
Who exactly is Rambhakt Gopal? What do we know of him? Here’s a better look at the man behind the gun.
Shooting his way to infamy
In January 2020, when Delhi was witnessing violence and tensions owing to the anti-CAA protests, Rambhakt Gopal had shot at an anti-CAA protester outside Jamia Milia Islamia.
Gopal, who was then booked as a minor, had express no remorse for what he did and the Delhi Police, according to a Times Now report, had said that he had been radicalised by watching videos online.
A report published by Scroll said that he was from Jewar in Uttar Pradesh and also had told the publication that he was in the process of getting his bachelor’s degree from Indira Gandhi National Open University.
After his arrest in the case, a huge row had broken out over whether he was a minor or not. While news agency ANI had released a shooter’s 10th grade CBSE marksheet that indicated he was a minor, a document by the Election Commission went viral suggesting he was an adult.
At the time, Narendra Sharma, in whose class the shooter was from 2013 to 2018, had said that the ANI marksheet was accurate. “His birth date is 8 April 2002,” he said. “He is a minor, 1,000 per cent. Do not keep repeating the question.”
After the incident, he was sent to 14-day protective custody by the Juvenile Justice Board in Delhi.
Arrested for hate speeches
After the Delhi incident, he once again cropped up for inciting hate. In July 2021, he made a communally charged speech in Pataudi, Haryana at a mahapanchayat, which was discussing religious conversions, love jihad and the need for a population control law. Videos of him on social media showed him calling for Muslims to be attacked.
“Jab mulle katey jayenge...” he started, and the crowd completed his sentence, “Tab Ram Ram chilayenge”.
The video shows him urging Hindu men to protect their sisters and daughters. “Have we become so weak that we are unable to protect our sisters and daughters?” he said, according to a report in Scroll. “Hindus will only awaken when they have to read the namaz.”
He had also reportedly questioned why Hindu men didn’t ‘pick up’ Muslim women and bring them into the fold. “Do you not have an iPhone? Do you not have big cars? If they can pick up your sisters then why can you not get one of them?”
In August of the same year, a Haryana court had granted him bail for making speeches inciting hate and curbed him from organising, attending or addressing any public gathering, which is likely to promote disharmony or feeling of enmity, hatred or ill-will between religious/racial groups/community.
Aiming his hate at children
Gopal, who also identifies himself as Nathuram Godse 2.0, has once again garnered buzz on social media after his videos surfaced.
In one of the videos, he is shown pointing a barrel of a gun out of a car window and threatening children, who run away.
In another video, a group of men is seen 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
As per an NDTV report, Rambhakt took 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
As of yet, no action has been taken yet, but Twitter is abuzz with the video — many demanding action against Rambhakt.
With inputs from agencies