On Saturday evening, the three-storey home of the alleged Shaheen Bagh shooter, who identified himself as Kapil Gujjar, was swarmed with people. Neighbours and relatives said they found it hard to believe that the“no-nonsense” man who is always “devoted to his family’s business” could have held extreme views or affiliation with far-right groups.
His family said it was probably the inconvenience caused due to blockage of roads by the protests at Shaheen Bagh, that ticked off Kapil, PTI reported.
“Not even in our wildest dreams could we have thought he would do this. He has always been quiet, never got into trouble.”Chaudhary Kalyan Singh, Kapil’s Relative
Father of One And a Dairy Farmer
Twenty-five-year-old Kapil is a father to a one-year-old girl, reported PTI. After graduationg from Class 12, he joined a media course at IMS College in Delhi, aspiring to become a reporter. But soon dropped out to join the family’s dairy business.
Their dairy unit is located in Dallupura village on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border and another at Badarpur.
“On normal days it takes two hours to reach the Badarpur Dairy (in south Delhi). He had to travel just 10 kilometres. But due to the protests, he had to travel 35 kilometres and he reached home at 1 am. He was tired with this but definitely not that disturbed to do anything like that (shooting),” Kapil's uncle Fateh Singh told PTI.
His father Gaje Singh said that he was at home till 12 pm and Kapil, too, was there. It was only later he received the shocking information that he had fired rounds in Shaheen Bagh. Kapil had not informed anyone and the family assumed he had gone to play cricket.
“He is a simple boy who can only think about buffaloes and expanding his father’s dairy business.”Satish Kumar, Kapil’s relative told PTI
Kapil Had ‘No Political Affiliations’
Kapil’s father Gaje Singh has a political background. He had unsuccessfully contested MCD elections in 2007 on a BSP ticket. He ran for MCD elections again in 2012 as a BSP member from Khichri Pur, and also contested the assembly elections in 2008, but lost.
But the family said Kapil did not have any political affiliations. While photos of Kapil from social media profiles are being circulated, locals maintained that he was not active online and is not an outgoing person in real life as well.
“He went for the kanwar yatra but never professed affiliation to a particular group. If there was something brewing in his head about the current protests, we would have known. A while ago, he had changed his WhatsApp number, and since then many of us were not able to interact with him,” Kapil’s friend told The Indian Express.
‘Never Had Hatred for Muslims’
Kapil, after being overpowered by police at Shaheen Bagh, had chanted 'Jai Shree Ram' and said, “Hamare desh me aur kisi ki nahi chalegi, sirf Hindu ki chalegi (only Hindus shall have a say in our country, no one else),” as he was taken into custody by the Delhi Police.
However, in sharp contrast, a relative said that Kapil’s family has a ‘good reputation’ in the village and has even rented out houses to eight Muslim families.
"He has Muslim friends and they visit our home for festivals. He never had any hatred for Muslims or extremist thoughts for any religion. He didn't have any association too with political groups," he said, reported PTI.
Kapil’s family also confirmed that neither him or anyone in his family had any licensed or unlicensed arms.
Kapil's brother believes he has been framed. The family suspects that it was someone at Shaheen Bagh who had instigated him.
(With inputs from PTI, The Indian Express)
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)