Delhi Police says Shaheen Bagh shooter is AAP member, party calls it ‘BJP’s dirty politics’

Delhi Police says Shaheen Bagh shooter is AAP member, party calls it ‘BJP’s dirty politics’

Crime Branch claims Kapil Baisala deleted his WhatsApp data before shooting incident at Shaheen Bagh but retrieved data had his pictures with AAP leaders.

Police take away the man who opened fire in the Shaheen Bagh

Police take away Kapil Gujjar who opened fire in Shaheen Bagh | PTI Photo | Arun Sharma

New Delhi: Kapil Baisala, who was arrested Saturday for allegedly opening fire at a tea stall near Shaheen Bagh, is an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member, the Delhi Police claimed.

According to a senior police officer, the force’s Crime Branch found photos of Kapil with AAP leaders such as Manish Sisodia, Atishi and Sanjay Singh on his mobile phone.

When confronted, Kapil, the officer claimed, told police that he had joined AAP in January 2019, a few months before the Lok Sabha elections, along with his father, Gaje Singh. He told the police that during that time more than a dozen youngsters known to him had joined AAP.

According to a source in the Delhi Police, Baisala’s father had also contested the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) election from East Delhi on a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket before he joined AAP.

“In our initial investigation, we found photos from Kapil’s phone that establishes that he is from AAP. We have taken him on remand for further questioning,” DCP Crime Branch, Rajesh Deo said. 

In the pictures, Baisala and his father can be seen with AAP leaders and volunteers sporting the party’s caps and bands. They can also be seen at an AAP event.

One of the photographs of Kapil Baisala with AAP leaders that police claim they retrieved from his phone | Delhi Police

AAP leader Sanjay Singh, however, called it a “conspiracy” by the BJP

“Just before the elections, there will be photos and conspiracies,” Singh said. “There are three to four days left for the elections and the BJP will indulge in as much dirty politics as it can. What does having a picture with someone mean?”

Baisala, resident of Dallupura, allegedly fired three shots in the air next to a tea stall in Jasola, which is close to Shaheen Bagh, where women have taken the lead in protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act. 

No injuries were, however, reported. Baisala was apprehended and arrested from the spot as he tried to flee. According to eyewitnesses, he was heard saying “Is desh mein aur kisi ki nahi chalegi, sirf Hinduon ki chalegi. (No one but Hindus will get to have their say in this country).” 

Also read: Why call gunman mentally unstable, he’s a terrorist — Jamia students after brazen shooting

Bought pistol in 2019, deleted WhatsApp data before firing

According to a source in the Crime Branch, Baisala bought the country-made pistol that he used for the shooting in 2019.

The source said that he had gone to Shaheen Bagh with a friend on a bike. While he was trying to flee the spot, he gave his phone to his friend.

Police also said that he loaded the pistol near the Holy Family Hospital in Okhla, before which he also allegedly deleted his WhatsApp data.

A photograph of Baisala with the gun he allegedly used. Police claim they retrieved this from his phone | Delhi Police

Police claim to have retrieved the data from his phone. 

“His friend has also joined the investigation. Once we went through Baisala’s phone, we found the images wherein he is seen with AAP leaders,” the police source said. 

“The pictures show Kapil and his father at an Aam Aadmi Party event. They joined the party just before the Lok Sabha elections,” the source said. “He told us that they had approached East Delhi candidate Atishi for the membership.”

Baisala’s phone also allegedly has a photograph of him posing with the pistol that he used to open fire.

“He had deleted all this data that has now been retrieved,” the police source said. “We are also going through his call detail records, previous chats, videos and photos to ascertain what encouraged him to open fire near Shaheen Bagh. While in custody, we will question him on these aspects.”

Also read: Why Shaheen Bagh protesters need not worry about Delhi election

With inputs from Aneesha Bedi