Shaheen Bagh shooter joined AAP in 2019: Police

Shaheen Bagh shooter Kapil Baisala joined AAP in 2019: Police

Representative image. (PTI photo)

In what could further fire up the last-leg campaign for the Delhi Assembly elections, Delhi Police on Tuesday linked the youth who "opened fire" at the anti-CAA protest site in South-East Delhi's Shaheen Bagh four days ago and his father with Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, triggering an immediate political slugfest.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Rajesh Deo told reporters they had evidence to suggest that Kapil Baisala, who opened fire in Shaheen Bagh on Saturday, and his father Gaje Singh had joined AAP in the early months of 2019 and photos to this effect were recovered from his phone.

However, PTI reported that the youth's family refuted the police's claim, saying his father had contested as a BSP candidate in 2008 but the accused was never part of any political outfit.

BJP said it exposed the "dirty face" of AAP and Kejriwal was playing with the security of the country while AAP countered it saying BJP will do "as much dirty politics" as they can just before elections when photos and conspiracies will be found.

Deo told reporters, "in our initial investigation we found some photos from Kapil's phone that establish that they joined AAP in January-February 2019. He had also disclosed during questioning that he and his father joined AAP in January-February 2019." Police also released photographs of Kapil with AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Atishi.

He also said that Kapil, who has been sent to police custody for another two days on Tuesday, told his interrogators that he purchased the pistol seven years ago during his brother's wedding, apparently for "celebratory firing". He said the seller of the fire-arm has been identified and efforts are on to locate him.

Investigators also have seized the motorcycle in which he reached Shaheen Bagh along with a friend. "We had seized his mobile phone after a raid. We found out that WhatsApp photos and videos were erased. Our technical team recovered the photos," he said.

In a series of tweets, BJP chief J P Nadda said, "for political gains, Kejriwal and his people even sold the security of the country. Earlier, Kejriwal used to insult the Army and advocate terrorists, but today, relations with those who carry out their terrorist activities came to light...this nation will not forgive those who play with its security. Kejriwal and his entire team have been exposed. The people of Delhi will give a befitting reply."

Responding to police claims, AAP's Sanjay Singh said, "Amit Shah is the Home Minister of the country at this time. Just before elections, photos and conspiracies will be found. Three-four days are left for the elections. BJP will do as much dirty politics as they can. What does having a picture with someone means?"

Singh alleged that before the news came out, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari made a statement on Tuesday morning that the accused is from AAP. “How did he get the news before it was made public? How has the photo reached BJP? At whose behest the Delhi Police is making a statement?” he asked at a late-evening press conference.

Kapil's uncle Fateh Singh said Kapil doesn't have any friends associated with AAP or any other party. "I have no idea where these photographs are circulating from. My nephew Kapil had no association with any political party nor does any other member from the family is. My brother Gaje Singh fought assembly elections in 2008 for BSP and lost. After that no one from our family had any links with any political party," he was quoted by PTI. 

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