Unidentified Gunman Caught On CCTV; Khalid, Jignesh Receive Threatening Message
The Logical Indian Crew Delhi
August 14th, 2018 / 4:12 PM
On August 13, in the afternoon, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader Umar Khalid was allegedly shot at, in Delhi. The attack happened outside the Constitution Club of India, which is a high-security area near the parliament. Umar Khalid escaped the attack unhurt, say eyewitnesses. After suspicions on whether the unidentified man fired the shot or not, yesterday late night the Delhi police confirmed that the gunman who allegedly tried to shoot Umar Khalid was caught on a CCTV camera. Here are the series of events that went down from August 13 afternoon to now.
What happened at the time of the attack?
According to Khalid, he along with his friends was at the Constitution club to attend an event called, ‘Unite Against Hate’. The event was for a discussion on mob lynchings and other hate crimes. Rakbar Khan’s family, Junaid Khan’s family (mob lynching victims from Alwar and Haryana), Radhika Vemula, even Najeeb Ahmed’s mother were all supposed to attend the event.
“We’d reached the venue early, and thought we’d go get some chai, which was outside Constitution Club of India. That is when a man came from behind and held me. Then he pushed me on the ground, pinned me down, and pointed a gun at me,” said Umar Khalid.
He further said, as soon as he saw the gun in the attacker’s hand, he pushed away the gun and his friends (Sharique Hussain and Banojyotsna Lahiri) came in, and pushed the man away. “The gunman then began to run to the other side of the road, and I ran into the Constitution Club. When I was at the gate of Constitution Club I heard a gunshot,” said Umar Khalid.
Umar’s friend Sharique also told The Quint that as soon as he (Sharique) started to run behind the gunman, the accused crossed the road, turned around and fired a shot at him (Sharique). Then he (the gunman) threw the pistol and ran away. Talking about the ‘suspicious attack’, Umar said “I’m alive, that’s why they’re saying I ‘engineered’ this attack. If I died, they would have said that Naxalites did this.”
The police investigation
Additional DCP Kumar Gyanesh said an FIR had been lodged under Arms Act and on Attempt to murder charges based on Khalid’s statement and the gun recovered from the crime scene. Additionally, police said that it has clues and the culprit will be arrested soon.
Maintaining the ambiguity around the gutshot, Madhur Verma, deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi), said it was still unclear if any shot was fired, but said that a bullet was found stuck in the pistol’s chamber. Though multiple people saw the assailant, he has remained unidentified. Yesterday late in the night, the Delhi Police recovered the CCTV footage of the suspected gunman, trying to run from the scene, reported ANI.
The death threat going around
Amidst all this, a threat message, signed by ‘Mafia DON Ravi Poojary was sent to some people.
Meanwhile, got this death threat from right-wing Hindutvawadi fundamentalist Ravi Poojary. He warns Umar Khalid, Jignesh Mevani and me to shut up!
— Shehla Rashid (@Shehla_Rashid) August 13, 2018
The Logical Indian spoke to one of the eyewitnesses who was present at the time of the incident, Banojyotsna Lahiri. She told us that, “This Mafia Don Ravi Poojary threat is not new. Even when Umar was arrested in 2016, this person has called Umar’s dad several times issuing death threat for Umar,” adding to that, she also told us that after receiving many death threats over the time, Umar had asked the Delhi police for his security. The police told Umar that they will assert the magnitude of the threats and will decide whether he should get the security or not,” she said.
“We have submitted our statement to not just the respective police station officer. Our statements have been recorded by the Joint Commission and another top cop of the national capital,” she added. While talking about the gunshot firing she said, “The witnesses are not just Umar’s friend, the shopkeeper and other people who were there have all heard the gunshot and saw the scuffle between the two (Umar and gunman). Then how can all of us have auditory hallucination at the same time.”
According to The Quint, the JNU, students’ union said the attack was a “culmination of hate-filled propaganda spewed by the Modi government” against Umar Khalid and others who have questioned the ruling government. In a statement issued by the JNUSU, the union said, “We demand that the Delhi Police take appropriate action against those conspirators behind this attack. In this hour of need, we shall unconditionally stand by Umar Khalid and demand speedy justice,” they said in the statement.
“From the JNUSU, we would like to make it clear that no voice can be curbed and the students’ movement will continue to produce fearless voices. We also demand that the Delhi Police take appropriate action against those conspirators behind this attack. In this hour of need, we shall unconditionally stand by Umar Khalid and demand speedy justice,” they said in the statement.
The journalist’s twisted claim
After the incident took place, a video posted by a journalist with Dainik Bhaskar, Vikas Bhadauria went viral. In the video, an “eyewitness” Santosh Kumar is claiming that there was indeed an incident of firing outside the Constitution Club and Umar Khalid was not present at the spot when the incident took place.
पत्रकार @santoshji रफी मार्ग पर गोलीकांड के चश्मदीद हैं,चाय की दुकान पर अचानक दो लड़कों के बीच झगड़ा हुआ,एक लड़की ने बीच-बचाव की कोशिश की,तभी एक लड़के ने पिस्तौल निकालकर फायर किया लेकिन गोली नहीं चली,बाद में हमलावर हवाई फायर कर फरार हो गया।टब तक उमर खालिद मौके पर नहीं था। pic.twitter.com/2Hz7t143LB
— Vikas Bhadauria ABP (@vikasbha) August 13, 2018
The video soon started to circulate, and Founder of Postcard News, Mahesh Vikram Hegde, shared Santosh Kumar’s video, and so did those who are followed on Twitter by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Santosh Kumar who claimed that he was present at the spot later altered his version of events and claimed that he wasn’t sure whether the person who had been targeted by the assailant was Umar Khalid or not.
लड़कों के झगड़े में मैं नहीं देख पाया कि वो लड़का जिस पर बंदूक़ तानी गइ वो कौन था. क्योंकि वो लड़का नीचे कीचड़ में गिरने के बाद क्लब की ओर तेजी से गया था. बाद में बंदूक़ वाला लडका बीच सड़क पर हवाई फ़ायरिंग करता हुआ भाग गया.जो लड़का नीचे गिरा था वो उमर था या नहीं, मुझे मालूम नहीं. https://t.co/MZd6ZgBV7J
— Santosh Kumar (@santoshji) August 13, 2018
Umar’s statement on social media
Soon after the incident, Umar released a statement saying that he was not surprised by the episode. He also said when the gunmen pointed the gun at him he was very scared at that moment. “That moment I was being reminded of what happened to Gauri Lankesh. I thought that the moment has arrived. I am very thankful for my friends who overpowered him, and my life was saved,” he added. Umar also issued a statement on Facebook.
Written by : Ridhima Gupta
Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi