Days after a gunman opened fire in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, the epicentre of anti-CAA movement, YouTuber Gunja Kapoor was detained at the protest site on Wednesday after she was caught covertly filming the protests in a burqa.
Kapoor runs the channel ‘Right Narrative’ on YouTube and her pinned tweet on Twitter says she is followed on the microblogging site by PM Narendra Modi.
According to police, the protesters turned suspicious after Kapoor asked them "too many questions". She was caught by some of the women protesters after they identified her as the popular YouTuber. The incident led to a commotion at Shaheen Bagh, the epicentre of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), a senior police official said.
#WATCH Political analyst Gunja Kapoor extricated by police after protestors at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh alleged that she was wearing a 'burqa' and filming them. #Delhi pic.twitter.com/llRiKhMvOd— ANI (@ANI) February 5, 2020
She was taken to Sarita Vihar police station where her identity was ascertained, police said.
Chaos at #ShaheenBaghProtest when a burka clad woman caught while making some video from her mobile. She is found out to a be a YouTuber. Objection was why she was covering the protest wearing burka. @DelhiPolice has detained her pic.twitter.com/W3Ypdey9il— alok singh (@AlokReporter) February 5, 2020
The incident sparked outrage on social media. Many took to Twitter to question why Kapoor was at the protest in disguise. Others expressed concern about her motives at secretly filming the protests.
A burka clad lady @gunjakapoor is caught in #ShaheenBaghProtest site,disguised as a Muslim.She hs 20k+ followers in @twitter & one among them is PM.Why BJP sent a prominent face like her & nt a small worker?Why BJP is so scared?What’s BJP plan?Mass murder?@IndiasMuslims— Seerat Raza (@iamseeratraza) February 5, 2020
A right wing activist caught in Shaheen Bagh trying to infiltrate by wearing a Burkha and faking her name She is “Proud to be followed by Modi” on Twitter pic.twitter.com/l1zklov0io— Dhruv Rathee (@dhruv_rathee) February 5, 2020
Meanwhile, praises flew in for the women of Shaheen Bagh who can be seen defending Kapoor from angry protesters after she was caught.
This is not the first time that a right wing social media activist has landed in trouble in Shaheen Bagh where residents and other women and children have been sitting in protest for nearly two months since the passing of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 in December last year.
In January, Deepa Sharma had posted videos online about the "traumatic" experience she had when she was allegedly heckled and harassed by Shaheen Bagh protesters. While the woman's claim could never be verified, other pieces of rampant fake news aimed at delegitimising and villainising protesters has taken social media by storm.
From doctored videos of women protesters allegedly accepting they were paid Rs 500 to attend protests to alleged fights over biriyani and anti-India sloganeering, trolls on social media seem to be working overtime to taint the ongoing protests.
The latter, however, show no signs of giving up. In fact, as Delhi nears elections on February 8, protesters have arranged for music performances by eminent artists, including pop celebrity Prateek Kuhad, till February 7.
Sit in protests take place 24x7 with women showing up in thousands to spend the night and sing songs of protest. And with polls around the corner, the protests have become an active part of political discourse with Aam Aadmi Party's Manish Sisodia expressing his support for the protesters at a recent press conference.