Jamia shooter's age row: CBSE certificate shows him as 'minor', EC document shows he's registered voter since April 2019
New details have emerged in connection with the youth, identified by the Delhi Police as Gopal Sharma, more commonly referred to as the Jamia shooter, after 30 January when he opened fire at peaceful protesters near Jamia Milia Islamia in New Delhi injuring one student protester Shadab Farooq.
Several handles on Twitter, shared a screenshot of the Election Commission website which showed the shooter as an adult, as he is a registered voter from Uttar Pradesh as of 11 April 2019
According to news agency ANI, which sourced the CBSE marksheet of the accused, said that he is 18-year-old. The marksheet shows Sharma's date of birth as 8 April, 2002
According to fact check websites, Sharma attended Jewar Public School in Uttar Pradesh's Jewar. Reuters, in their report on Sharma, confirmed that he is 17-year-old
New details have emerged in connection with the youth, identified by the Delhi Police as 'Gopal Sharma', more commonly referred to as the Jamia shooter, after 30 January when he opened fire at peaceful protesters near Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi injuring one student protester Shadab Farooq.
On 30 January, after a gun-wielding Sharma aimed at the protesters (and later fired a shot), with the Delhi Police standing behind him, quietly watching, outrage erupted across India. Calling the incident "shocking", several prominent leaders, politicians and activists called for Sharma's arrest and also blamed the BJP-led Centre for this escalation of violence over the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Delhi Police had charged Sharma for attempt to murder under Section 307 of the IPC.
While calls for Sharma's arrest grew louder, new details have emerged regarding the shooter.
While several media reports after the 30 January incident confirmed that Sharma was a "minor", new details based on details fished out of the Election Commission website show that the shooter is not a minor after all. However, verification of these details are still underway. Here is what we know so far.
On Monday, a new controversy erupted over the age of the accused. According to news agency ANI, which sourced the CBSE marksheet of the accused, said that he is 18-year-old. The marksheet shows Sharma's date of birth as 8 April, 2002.
Delhi: CBSE marksheet of the allegedly minor gunman who brandished a gun and opened fire in Jamia area, earlier today. One student was injured in the incident. pic.twitter.com/3p6Pgbsl7P
— ANI (@ANI) January 30, 2020
Soon after ANI tweeted the image of the marksheet on 30 January, several handles on Twitter alleged that the news agency was spreading fake news. The ANI report, however, was reaffirmed by several other reports which confirmed that Sharma was indeed a minor. According to fact check websites, Sharma attended Jewar Public School in Uttar Pradesh's Jewar. Reuters, in their report on Sharma, confirmed that he is 17-year-old.
For keyboard warriors out to discredit ANI just because we have stringers & reporters in almost every district in India, hence got to the village in an hour, here is an international news agency reporter confirming what we put out. https://t.co/hWq9BRA6n8
— Smita Prakash (@smitaprakash) February 1, 2020
I've made two trips to Jewar in the last 24 hours to find out more about the 17-year-old shooter at #Jamia - who exactly he was and why he did what he did.
— Devjyot Ghoshal (@DevjyotGhoshal) January 31, 2020
"Family members, neighbours, and a school official in Jewar described the boy — who cannot be named under Indian law because he is under 18 — as quiet and ordinary. His act of violence took them by surprise", Reuters reported. While Reuters report attempted to understand the shooter's background, it did not much information on ascertaining the boy's age.
On Monday, however, several handles on Twitter, shared a screenshot of the Election Commission website which showed the shooter as an adult, as he is a registered voter from Uttar Pradesh as of 11 April, 2019.
Hindutva terrorist, 'Rambhakt' Gopal Sharma, who had fired at a Kashmiri-Muslim protester this week in front of Jamia Milia University seems to be not a minor - He was in the voters' list for 11 April 2019 election. In India, minimum voting is 18 years. pic.twitter.com/vg4ba0n3k1
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) February 2, 2020
Here is the proof that Jamia shooter Gopal Sharma is not a minor. Ellection Commission of India registers him as a 20 year old voter. He should be tried as an adult accused. pic.twitter.com/Os7B1EBO0Y
— Dr Azim Khan (@azimsherwani) February 2, 2020
The Election Commission website — using his purported EPIC (Electors Photo Identity Card) number — shows Sharma is a registered voter. However, reporters who visited the town of the accused confirmed that the accused is indeed a minor.
According to Reuters, "In March 2018, the boy asked friends via Facebook to join a meeting of the Bajrang Dal, a hardline Hindu group tied to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Days later, he shared photos of himself at the meeting. Praveen Bhati, a local leader from the Bajrang Dal, denied the boy was a member of the group. Some classmates said they were aware of his support for Hindu nationalism for at least three years, partly from his social media posts."
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