JNU student and activist Umar Khalid escaped unharmed in an attack outside Constitution Club in New Delhi

 Dissenting voices cannot be gagged Radhika Vemula condemns attack on Umar Khalid
news Crime Monday, August 13, 2018 - 19:13

JNU student and student activist Umar Khalid was allegedly attacked on Monday as an unidentified assailant attacked him and opened fire in New Delhi. Fortunately, Khalid escaped unharmed. 

The incident took place outside Constitution Club, which is located 200 metres away from the Parliament premises, despite the heavy security in place ahead of Independence Day.  

News agency ANI reported DCP Madhur Verma as saying, “It is being verified...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 and according to Khalid, the attacker fired in the air.”  

Khalid was participating in an event called “United Against Hate: Towards Freedom Without Fear”. The event was scheduled for 2.30 pm. The program was held to condemn the incidents of lynching and the growing crimes against women. 

Several dignitaries including Radhika Vemula, Rohith Vemula’s mother and Raja Vemula, Rohith’s brother, were to participate in it. However, due to bad weather conditions prevailing in Andhra Pradesh, Radhika Vemula couldn’t attend the event. 

Speaking to TNM, Radhika Vemula said, “Even if the police finds out who the assailant is. They would not reveal him. Why would they? The entire system is backing them.” 

She accused the police of colluding with the assailants, stating that there might be people who try to kill them, but they cannot gag dissenting voices.  

“This assassination bid would not have been possible without police authorities colluding with the BJP-RSS backed extremists. Else, how is it possible for someone to get a gun and open fire at a highly secure area, especially when Independence Day is around the corner,” she alleged. 

Raja Vemula wrote on Facebook, “Umar Khalid bhai was attacked with a gun. He’s safe but the country is in danger.” 

The other dignitaries scheduled to attend the event included Advocate Prashant Bhushan, Fatima Nafees, Dr Kafeel Khan, MP Manoj Jha and several senior journalists. 

Expressing shock, Shehla Rashid, student activist from JNU wrote, “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. But we should be very very worried about his safety.” 

Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani too put out a statement condemning the attack. 

“...For the past few months, I constantly received four death threats, in that hit list Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid were also there. Despite that nobody was provided security, meaning that the Sangh and the BJP government want to eliminate the activists who have been fighting,” Jignesh Mevani claimed in the video.