Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader Umar Khalid escaped bid on his life when an unidentified man reportedly opened fire at him outside Constitution Club of India on Monday. He, however, has escaped unhurt, according to police.
Police have recovered a pistol from the spot. Khalid was at the venue to attend an event titled 'Khauff Se Azaadi', organised by an organisation named 'United Against Hate'.
Later Khalid told PTI: “There is an atmosphere of fear in the country, and anybody who speaks against the government is threatened.”
Last month, Khalid had alleged that JNU administration refused to accept his PhD submission, over supposed punishment given to them in connection with the February 9, 2016 event on campus where alleged anti-India slogans were raised.
Khalid, along with Kanhaiya Kumar and others, had recently been fined by the administration’s Appeals Committee, set up to review punishments given earlier in the case.
Subsequently, the Delhi High Court had set aside JNU’s order on Kumar, stating that it “suffers from the vice of illegality, irrationality and procedural impropriety”.
People reacted with shock on Twitter as news came in of the attempt of student Umar Khalid’s life, that too in high security Central Delhi near MP’s residential quarters and within a stone’s throw of Parliament.
Former J&K CM Omar Abdullah pointed a finger at media, blaming them for the attack on Khalid. “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,” tweeted Abdullah.
CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar tweeted, “Constitution is burnt on Parliament Street, activists are being shot at outside Constitution Club - fascists go berserk as election approaches and defeat looms large! Umar Khalid shot at outside Constitution Club!”
Former JNU student’s leder Shehla Rashid said, “Shocking and highly condemnable: a guy attacked Umar Khalid from behind and tried to shoot him in Delhi. This is the direct result of hatred whipped up by Republic TV & other hate media. I spoke to Umar. He's okay, but we should be very very worried about his safety.”