Days after he was attacked by an armed assailant in the heart of the capital, JNU student leader Umar Khalid Thursday, thanked the government for “killing” every fear. “I want to thank the RSS, the BJP and the Modi government. In the last four years, they’ve done so much to us that they have killed our every fear… You’ve done everything — sent us to jail, started a media trial against us, tried to get crowds to assault and shoot us. Now what more can you do? Thank you for killing the latent fear we had inside us. We’re no longer scared of anything,” said Khalid.
He was speaking at a protest at Parliament Street called by United Against Hate — whose event he had gone to attend when he was attacked on Monday — and the All India Students’ Association. Khalid said he had forwarded a video to police of two persons taking responsibility for the attack. “Police asked Banojyotsna and Shariq (both eyewitnesses) if the men in the video were the same as the one who attacked me. They said the man in the saffron robe was the one, to which police just responded saying ‘okay’. There has been no development since,” he claimed.
DCP (Special Cell) Pramod Kushwaha said, “Our teams are conducting raids in Haryana’s Mandhothi village to nab them. We have some strong leads.” Addressing the crowd, Khalid said he had no personal enmity towards those who attacked him: “I pity you, that you are being used. This government is troubling you too. You are being used by some people…”
On certain sections of the media alleging that he has raised anti-India slogans, he said, “On what basis did these people say I shouted slogans on disintegration of India? I say this with my head held high, I never raised those slogans.” Khalid’s father, who was also at the protest, alleged, “Those who have seen the video said there are similarities in the appearance of the man. Even if that was not the case, how is it that some men are saying we have committed a crime and want to surrender, and police have done nothing?”