Minutes before he attacked JNU student leader Umar Khalid outside the Constitution Club on August 13, accused Naveen Dalal had told him not to give an “anti-national” speech. But Khalid got into an argument and Dalal slapped him, police said in their chargesheet filed before a Delhi court Thursday. Dalal and his accomplice Darvesh Shahpur were arrested on August 20 from Hisar, and are lodged in prison. Police have included 30 eyewitnesses in their chargesheet, as well as the statements of the two accused.
In his statement, Dalal states, “I have been patriotic since my childhood and was associated with several social work programmes. I was inspired by cow protection activist Gopal Das, who was seeking stringent laws on cow slaughter, and met him in 2004. We even formed an organisation, ‘Gau Raksha Sanstha’, and I was made president. Shahpur, who is associated with Khalid on Facebook, informed me about the event, ‘Khauf se Azadi: Towards Freedom without Fear’, being organised at Constitution Club. Khalid was in the audience at the event.”
“We decided to teach him a lesson… We took our neighbour’s motorbike and left for Delhi… I gathered information about the event from security guards… I waited for Khalid at a nearby shop, where Shahpur gave me the pistol. Khalid came to the shop… and I asked him to stop giving ‘anti-national’ speeches. He started arguing, and I slapped him after repeatedly asking him not to say anything wrong. He called his friends… and I got scared. When I was trying to escape, the pistol fell on road and went off…. We had decided to surrender, but were scared,” he said in his police statement.
In the chargesheet, the investigation officer of the case said they were able to pinpoint the duo’s location at the club by getting their phone location report from the mobile operators concerned.
“Dalal had uploaded a video on his Facebook account, where they had claimed to be involved in the crime. This video was also extracted with the help of a technical expert from the Computer Emergency Response Team… The motorbike they used to get to Delhi was also recovered,” police said in the chargesheet.