New Delhi: The Delhi Police has defended itself, saying that it ‘didn’t have time to react,’ after it came under fire for not stopping the 17-year-old youth who on Thursday afternoon opened fire at a group of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest outside the capital’s prestigious Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University.

Pictures have gone viral on social media of a group of Delhi Police personnel standing behind the shooter idly, even as he fires a shot at the protesters from his pistol, resulting in injury to a student, identified as Shadab Farooq. The student, who was admitted to AIIMS, is currently said to be ‘out of danger.’

Speaking to media hours after the incident, Special Commissioner of Police (Intelligence) Praveer Ranjan said, “By the time police could react, the person had already fired the shot. Everything happened in seconds. The investigation is on. The case has been transferred to the Crime Branch.”

“We’re also probing whether he’s a juvenile or not,” the officer added. The youth is a resident of Jewar in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar.

The incident, which came just two days after Union Minister Anurag Thakur led a crowd into chanting slogan of ‘shoot the traitors,’ in reference to anti-CAA protesters, led to massive protests by the students outside the university. It also comes more than a month after the Delhi Police entered the JMI campus and cracked down on students after an anti-CAA protest outside the university turned violent.

Taking note of the incident, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also tweeted that he had spoken to Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik and directed him to take strict action in connection with the incident.

Notably, the incident came a day before the Police Commissioner was scheduled to retire. His tenure, however, has now been extended by a month in the view of the upcoming single-phase Assembly polls in Delhi on February 8.