In a shocking incident, an armed,unidentified  person entered the premises of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), brandishing a gun and fired at a gathering of anti-CAA protesters, injuring one student.

Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) have reverberated throughout the country in recent times, with JNU, a premier institution situated in the Capital, being one of the foremost centres of open dissent. During one such demonstration of dissent, albeit a peaceful one, students of the university had gathered for a march to Rajpath when they were confronted by a man brandishing a handgun. He reportedly shouted slogans – “azaadi chahiye? Ye lo azaadi (You want freedom? Here, have your freedom) before firing shots at the protesters, injuring one student. The victim, Shadab Najar, a student of the Mass Communication and Research Centre (MCRC Department) at the University, was shot in the arm and was immediately rushed for treatment. The shooter, who was later found to be a juvenile, is currently in police custody, while the condition of the victim is stable. 

This chilling incident occurred just a day after Anurag Thakur, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) and Union Minister gave a controversial speech at a rally in Delhi, where he used the words “goli maaro” (shoot them) while speaking against the anti-CAA demonstrations in the country. The Jamia Teachers’ Association, which condemned the incident, blamed the Union Minister’s speech for the incident, stating, “We are convinced that this shooting, which could have been fatal, was the direct result of the call to goli maaro or shoot by an elected Member of Parliament”.  

There was widespread public outrage over the inability of the Delhi Police to prevent the incident, despite being present in large numbers on the scene. A Jamia Professor, on the condition of anonymity, said, “the incident unfolded right in front of the police and they were mute spectators to it.”

Praveer Ranjan, Delhi Police Special Commissioner, rubbished claims of complacency against the force, and asserted that a quick reaction wasn’t possible since the incident happened in a split of a second. Footage of videos shot by eye witnesses show that the Police a few feet from the assailant, stood still, in a defensive position. Delhi Police did manage to catch the shooter, preventing further damage.

The assailant, found to be only seventeen years old, was produced before the Juvenile Justice Board and sent to protective custody for 14 days. Police officials present at the hearing told NDTV that the accused reportedly planned to create the same situation at Shaheen Bagh but ultimately decided to go near the the Jamia campus instead. They also reported that he seemed to have been influenced by inflammatory posts on social media. An investigation into his Facebook posts revealed instances of pro-Hindutva slogans, and photos with firearms. Home Minister Amit Shah called for stringent criminal proceedings against the assailant.

The victim was admitted to AIIMS Trauma Centre and discharged the next day in a stable condition.

Social media stood united in the denouncement of the incident, with pictures of the victim, supportive messages and criticisms against violent elements, and the inertia of the police, being circulated across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. “Such an incident happening inside a prominent educational institution, especially a day before Martyrs’ Day, endangers the sanctity of education and the integrity of the nation,” opined Arnav Agrawal, a University of Delhi, student residing near the campus.

Feature Image Credits – India Today

Feature Image Caption – Shadab Najar, Student of Jamia Millia Islamia, who was shot by the assailant for protesting.

Araba Kongbam

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A political drama-thriller web series by the name Tandav has come under scrutiny after students expressed their distress with the shooting interfering in their day to day college life. A letter has been sent to the Delhi University’s (DU) Registrar with respect to the same as the shooting takes place at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi.

In a strongly-worded letter by Amit Kumar Diwakar, student of the Faculty of Law, DU, on behalf of the students of the Law Faculty, brought into limelight how the shooting of a web series by director Ali Abbas Zaffar was causing great trouble to the students.

Diwakar registered a strong protest against the permission given for shooting on campus.

In his letter to the Registrar, he wrote, “…shooting for the web series… is creating a huge disturbance and affecting day to day affairs of the University including research, classes, library and movements of students in the campus”.

He also mentioned how the violation of various guidelines issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) as well as the Supreme Court of India are being violated for the purpose of shooting.

He put this issue ahead as a grave matter of concern and one which requires interference of higher authorities since there has been a violation of fundamental rights such as the Right to Privacy, along with the violation of the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016 since disturbance has been caused in the movement of disabled persons such as the blind students in the campus.

Noihrit Gogoi, a student at Ramjas College, DU, comments, “I believe the key term here is ‘priority’. We enrol ourselves in a University like DU to engage ourselves in and prioritise an academic environment with, of course, some extracurricular activities. When elements outside of our University like shooting for a film, barges in and interrupts our regular college activities like, even as trivial as going to the library, it compromises the said priority, and that too without our consent while subjugating the ideal environment of a university.”

“Other practical problems like common paths being blocked, disruption in classes, and how many students complained that the film crew was extremely rude and unapologetic during the shooting of Kabir Singh in DU, are always a problem,” he added.

Tandav is one of the most exciting projects taken up by director Ali Abbas Zafar for which he took a year to work upon and will mark his entry into the digital space. The series is co-written by Gaurav Solanki who penned down the well-received film Article 15 which was released earlier this year.

Tandav will be majorly shot in Delhi and is centered around the idea of power corridors of Indian Politics.

The series is set to stream after its shooting is over on Amazon Prime Video in the upcoming year.


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives


Amrashree Mishra

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Saniya Shaikh is a 2nd year student studying in Lady Shri Ram College for Women. But she is no ordinary girl; she represents the Indian contingent in Skeet Shooting. DU Beat was able to catch an interview with this inspiring sports person.

At what age did you start shooting skeet and what got you into the sport?

I was 13 years old when I started shooting skeet. Being born in a family where my grandfather, dad and all my uncles are national level shooters, the sport runs in my blood. Growing up with guns and accompanying my dad to the shooting range in competitions was a part of my childhood. I got into this sport because of my dad. He always tells me, “I prayed to the Almighty Allah to bless me with a daughter as my first child and I wanted her to be a daughter.” So it was all because of my dad’s dream that I got into this beautiful sport because he saw this dream for me even before I was born and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for introducing me to this sport.

What all competitions have you participated in?

I have participated in more than 30 world cups, world championships, Asian shooting competitions, Commonwealth shooting and a few Grand Prix.

Tell us a little about your daily routine and training.

I get up at 4 in the morning and then train for 8-9 hours, which gets a little difficult since my training hours clash with my college timings. In the evening I hit the gym and exercise for 2 hours as I am a gym freak.

Given that it is an unconventional sport for Indian kids, did you face any problems on your way to becoming a professional player?

The best thing I love about Shooting is that it is an unconventional sport. It’s different and interesting. A girl like me would have never settled for something conventional (laughing) or less interesting than shooting. Also, there has always been a huge support from my family and that’s why I never felt any problem.

Who had the greatest impact on your shooting career?

My father! He is a real inspiration to me. I am pretty sure he would have gone through a tough time training a kid like me. So now, I am going to get him an Olympic Gold!

In your spare time, what else do you like to do?

I love listening to music. I am also learning to play a guitar at the moment. Moreover, I am a big fan of Usain Bolt and hence, I read about him a lot. I have got two pets and I like to pamper them. I also love horse-riding.

Did you receive any aid from DU to further promote you as a player?

All I can say is in India we give importance to a very few sports like cricket and tennis but sports like shooting do not get the same kind of recognition and support. However, thing are changing gradually and as a shooter, I will do whatever I can to make it a more appreciated and recognised sport in India.

What is the best advice that you can give to a young aspiring Shooter?

I would just like to say that every shot is the first shot. Shoot as if you are never going to shoot again. Do not think about the misses. We all miss, we are all humans. Show the world that you are the best!

The deplorable episode of cold-blooded slaying of six innocent Sikhs by a white supremacist skinhead Wade Michael Page in a gurudwara in Wisconsin can’t be dismissed as a sheer paradigm of hate crime incident. Apparently, the fact that it has broached more than a few imperative questions is difficult to neglect.

While the precise motivations of this outlandish act are yet to be indentified, the reports that the killer had been a leader of a xenophobic white-power group connote it wasn’t just a random attack but one that was accurately deliberated to single out a community for its dissimilarity or rather for its misconceived proximity, in terms of corporeal peculiarity, to Islamist fundamentalists.

Unfortunately, Sikhs – one of the initial Asian communities in North America – have confronted such vandalism and dogmatism ever since 9/11 when racial bigots began to see in them a semblance to Osama Bin Laden, predominantly because of their turban and beard. In this context, no one is oblivious to the infamous case of Balbir Singh Sodhi – a gas station owner in Mesa, Arizona – who was shot dead four days after the towers crumbled, allegedly by a man who sought retaliation.

However, this is not the sole example of Sikh community being under attack in the disguise of ‘patriotism’. In a report last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center – a nonprofit civil rights organization committed to combating hate and bigotry- reported quite a few assaults and incidents of arson at Sikh temples after September 11.

This sort of killing rampage is undeniably a catastrophe, and it is so not only for six people who lost their lives or their aggrieved families or for that matter the Sikh community but also for United States as a nation which is often reckoned an impeccable specimen of juxtaposed cultures and religions – a product of large-scale immigration from various countries. It poses a question on the credibility of the country in protecting people of all races, as promised in its Constitution.

Although it might sound mordant but one of the concrete reasons for such crisis finds its roots in the laws that confer upon civilians a right to carry guns without any complications. Paradoxically, a law was passed in Wisconsin last year that gave liberty to the inhabitants to purchase a handgun or firearm with much ease. The 9 mm semi-automatic handgun found at the sight of the incident is just a metaphor of how prolific are the implications of this law. Even the rationale that probable victims need guns for their fortification sounds nothing more than ridiculous.

We can keep deriving the political insinuations of the occurrence but what needs vital attention is that the Sikh community has for a long, long time quietly endured the pain of wounds they never inflicted and it’s high time that both the United States government as well the Indian government take measures to ensure that no discrimination of any sort is met out to this community anymore.


Vatsal Verma
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