They cannot browbeat us into silence: Umar Khalid on his attempted killing

Popular JNU student leader, Umar Khalid, in a Facebook post, expressed his thoughts on the attempted attack on his life on Monday in the Constitution Club.

Expressing his shock that ‘in one of the most “High Security” zones of the national capital, an armed assailant could dare to attack me in broad daylight’, he said that ‘it goes onto show the brazen impunity that some people feel they enjoy under the present regime’.

He said that if the ‘unidentified gunman’ was arrested, ‘do not just hold that “unidentified gunman” responsible. The real culprits are those who from their seats of power have been breeding an atmosphere of hatred, of bloodlust and fear. The real culprits are those who have provided an atmosphere of complete impunity for assassins and mob lynchers. The real culprits are those spokespersons of the ruling party and the prime time anchors and TV channels who have spread canards about me, branded me anti-national based on lies and virtually incited a lynch-mob against me. This has specifically made my life extremely vulnerable.’

ALSO READ: Attack on Umar Khalid is the direct result of relentless hate campaign against him, says Omar

Slamming a MP from BJP, Meenakshi Lekhi for her remark that the attack was engineered, he said, “Even as I haven’t pointed fingers at anyone, why are they so desperate to twist the narrative? What should this desperation be taken as a sign of? Their own culpability? Well, if one is to just look into the murder of Gauri Lankesh as an example, the arrests one after the other clearly exposes the hands of Hindutva terror outfits. So when we say “unidentified gunmen”, what is important is to identify the real players behind these terror attacks”.

Observing that the hate campaign has been going on for the past two years, he said, “There is no evidence, only lies. There has been no charge-sheet, only media-trial. There are no arguments, only trolling. There has been no debate, only death threats. And today it has all come down to a gun. Why is it that hashtags like “Tukde Tukde” has literally become a prefix to my name, whereas BJP leaders openly support those who say they will do “tukde tukde” of the country if a certain movie is released?”

“Why is it that those who speak of dividing the society in the name of caste and attack the dalits – the likes of Shambhaji Bhide, whom PM Modi calls a mahapurush- are not accused of breaking the country to pieces? Why is it that the people in power who want to sell off this country piece by piece to big corporates at the cost of the poor, are celebrated as deshbhakts and their critics deemed as “anti-nationals”? These are all relevant questions today,” he writes.

“They cannot browbeat us into silence, neither with their jails, nor with their bullets. We proved it yesterday itself. Despite the attack on me, the program Khauf Se Azaadi (Freedom from Fear) by United Against Hate was successfully held in the Constitution Club. Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees, the wife of Alimuddin (whose killers Union Minister Jayant Sinha garlanded recently) Maryam, the mother of Junaid (16 year old lynched on a train last year) Fatima, Rakbar Khan’s brother Akbar, Dr Kafeel Khan along with Prashant Bhushan, Prof. Apoorvanand, SR Darapuri, Manoj Jha and many others addressed the gathering raising their voice against hatred, lynchings and the terror spread by these saffron terror. That is the spirit of our resistance,” he said.

Reiterating the demand that the Delhi Police provide him with continuous security, he said, “I have been given death threats several times in the past and receive several threats and inciteful messages everyday on social media. After yesterday’s incident, what is the Delhi Police waiting for? I appeal to all democratic forces to pressurize the Delhi Police to provide me with security, as it is no longer possible for me to go anywhere anymore without security.”

In the end, he said that ‘making the dreams of Bhagat Singh and Babasaheb Ambedkar into a reality will continue with greater resolve. Jai Bhim, Lal Salaam’.

Earlier, Umar Khalid was shot at under a thick security cover by an unidentified man at the Constitution Club near Parliament. Police said that he is unhurt.

The leader was at the Club to attend an event, “Khauff Se Azaadi”, organised by ‘United Against Hate’. “There is an atmosphere of fear in the country, and anybody who speaks against the government is threatened,” he said after the attack.

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