Delhi: JNU student Umar Khalid shot at in high-security zone
An unidentified gunman opened fire at JNU student leader Umar Khalid today, reports claim. Khalid is safe. The incident happened when he was exiting the Constitution Club in Delhi, where he was attending a meet protesting mob lynching. The reason for the attack isn't known yet. Police have started a probe. Khalid's name had made headlines in the JNU sedition controversy of 2016.
Man escaped, dropped the pistol: Witness
According to a witness, "We were at a tea-stall when a man in a white shirt came, pushed and opened fire. Khalid lost his balance and fell down and the bullet missed him. The pistol slipped off his hands and he escaped." Incidentally, the spot where it happened, 200m away from the Parliament's wall, is under a thick security cover ahead of Independence Day.
Khalid had filed a complaint in June alleging death threats
Khalid had registered a complaint with police in June, alleging he was receiving death threats from a man who identified himself as gangster Ravi Pujari. "He said that I am on his HIT LIST! I have asked for police protection, given the fact that this is the same person who had previously also issued similar threats of killing me in Feb 2016 (sic)," Khalid had tweeted.
Sedition row: JNU panel upholds Khalid's expulsion
Khalid and his fellow students - Kanhaiya Kumar, Anirban Bhattacharya, Anant Prakash, Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar and Shehla Rasheed - shot to fame (or notoriety) when in February'16, they allegedly shouted 'anti-national slogans at an event in JNU commemorating Afzal Guru's execution. Khalid was expelled, along with Kumar, but they challenged the decision. Last month, a high-level JNU inquiry committee upheld the punishment.
Khalid accuses JNU of 'vendetta'
Last month, Khalid accused JNU of a 'vendetta' against him, alleging the university didn't allow him to submit his PhD thesis in due time, despite court orders. According to Khalid, Chief Proctor Kaushal Kumar refused to clear his submission despite other requisite approvals.
Shocking and highly condemnable: Shehla Rashid on the attack
Reacting to today's attack on him, Khalid later said, "There is an atmosphere of fear in the country, and anybody who speaks against the government is threatened." Fellow JNU student leader Shehla Rashid tweeted, "Shocking and highly condemnable. I spoke to Umar. He's okay, but we should be very very worried about his safety."