The gunman who fired at a 2020 citizenship law protest near Jamia Millia University has sparked another controversy after provocative videos from his Instagram account went viral. The young man, who calls himself “Rambhakt Gopal” and is currently out on bail, has made his account private after several social media users shared the video and called for strict measures against him.
Gopal was released on bail last year by a court in Haryana after he was arrested for making communal speeches against the Muslim community during a ‘mahapanchayat‘ in Pataudi.
One of the videos shows the barrel of a gun pointed out the car window being used to threaten children who run or run away and close doors at the sight of them. The car stops when the children are unaffected and only moves again after they close the doors. The words “Gau Raksha Dal, Mewat road, Haryana” are written in Hindi on the video.
Rambhakt Gopal Sharma uploaded a video on his Instagram in which people in the car TERRORISE young girls and children by showing weapons. The video caption reads ‘Gau Raksha Dal, Mewat road, Haryana’.
Hello @DGPHaryana@police_haryana† #JudgmentRamBhaktGopalpic.twitter.com/IhRTm3dWBm
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) Apr 24, 2022
Another video shows a group of men brandishing pistols and dragging a man into the back seat of an SUV as he lies on the floor and struggles to break free. The men hold his hands and legs and lift him up to dump him in the back seat. The video was reportedly posted with the caption “Take away the cow smuggler”.
Jamia gunman out on bail Rambhakt Gopal uploaded this video on his instagram that reads “Take away the cow smuggler”. Men with pistols are seen taking a man away. They have complete freedom to break the law every day and yet remain free.
Insta Link: https://t.co/2ydAyjWY6Zpic.twitter.com/wWHImXQbFF
— Kaushik Raj (@kaushikrj6) Apr 24, 2022
Both videos have slick editing and uplifting background music with hundreds of supportive comments.
After making his Instagram account private following massive criticism on social media, the young man has taken to Twitter to respond to those calling for action against him.
@zoo_bear@kaushikrj6 talk about it too, these scared muslims threaten me every day, i have thousands of threats to kill or my sister and my cow mother. They threaten to kill us if we go to Mewat. Mewat is in India and we will not allow cow smuggling here, always remember this pic.twitter.com/u4irYMLNi6
— Rambhakt Gopal (@Rambhaktgopal) Apr 24, 2022
The young man, who has more than 13,000 followers on Instagram, is a resident of Jewar in Uttar Pradesh and named himself Godse 2.0 – after Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse. He is notorious for regularly posting provocative photos and videos, often featuring private bodyguards and weapons. Several videos on his account are about cow conservation, where he appears with self-proclaimed cow vigilantes and announces the achievements of his “team” in saving cows.
Even before the shooting, he had posted pictures of himself with radical right-wing leaders. He also posted pictures of weapons and messages such as “Shaheen Bagh, game over” and “I give Azadi (freedom)”. Right before he attacked the Jamia students, he was live streaming on Facebook.
Gopal regularly makes controversial communal comments with several ‘Hindu’ mahapanchayats‘ in Hariana. Last year, he had made headlines for leading a huge crowd at the ‘Mahapanchayat’ in Haryana’s Pataudi, where hateful and communal slogans were reportedly pitched. He was arrested in the case and later released on bail by a court in Haryana.