JNU student Umar Khalid shot at by unidentified man in Delhi, escapes unhurt


New Delhi, August 13: JNU student leader Umar Khalid escaped unhurt after an unidentified man allegedly shot at him in central Delhi on Monday.
The incident took place outside the Constitution Club, located in the high-security area near the parliament and several government offices, where he had come for an event titled ‘Khauff Se Azaadi’. Organised by an organisation named ‘United Against Hate’ and featuring speakers like lawyer Prashant Bhushan, late Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s mother Radhika Vemula and others.
According to an eyewitness, Khalid and some others were standing at a nearby tea stall when the man approached him, pushed him and opened fire with a pistol. However, the bullet missed as Khalid slipped.
The assailant then fired in the air and fled, but dropped the pistol. Police have seized the weapon and are probing the matter.
Speaking to reporters later, Khalid said he was going back inside the Constitution Club complex after having tea when somebody tried to fire at him.
“I was returning after having tea. One person came from behind, pushed me down and tried to fire at me. I ran for my life. He fled from there,” he said, adding that he could not see the face of the attacker.
“I do not know whether it was handiwork of some group and if others accompanied the attacker. It’s ironic that it happened as I have come to participate in an even against mob lynching.”
“There is an atmosphere of fear. If you speak against the government you will be branded and then anything could happen to you,” said Khalid, who was one of the three Jawaharlal Nehru University students arrested in connection with an event held on February 9, 2016, on campus in which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.
Deputy commissioner of police, New Delhi, Madhur Verma said: “It (the incident) is being verified. He said that he was attacked. Somebody pounced on Umar Khalid and pushed, thereafter he tried to fire at Khalid. But the person immediately couldn’t fire. People started chasing him thereafter, according to Khalid, the attacker fired in the air.”
He said the police would check CCTV footage to ascertain what happened.
Reacting to the attack, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: “Wage a motivated hate campaign against individuals & sooner or later someone will feel emboldened enough to take the law in to their own hands. The attack on @UmarKhalidJNU is the direct result of the relentless hate campaign using both social & mainstream media. Glad he’s well.” (PTI)