Two months ago Umar Khalid wrote to police: Danger to my life, am on hit list; was supposed to meet Special Cell todayhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/two-months-ago-umar-khalid-wrote-to-police-danger-to-my-life-am-on-hit-list-5305282/

Two months ago Umar Khalid wrote to police: Danger to my life, am on hit list; was supposed to meet Special Cell today

Umar Khalid on Monday wrote: “I want to state that there is a continuous threat to my life and limb. This has increased after today’s attempt on my life. I urge you to please take cognizance of this and provide me police security.”

Two months ago Umar Khalid wrote to police: 'Danger to my life, am on hit list'
New Delhi DCP Madhur Verma with Khalid, who was taken to Parliament Street police station. (Renuka Puri)

Nearly two months before Monday’s incident — where a gun-toting man allegedly tried to shoot him — JNU student Umar Khalid had written to the Delhi Police saying there was a “danger to his life”, and asked them to provide him with security.

At the time, Khalid had said there was a threat to his life from gangster Ravi Pujari.

Read | Today’s incident proves importance of today’s programme, says Prashant Bhushan at event

In his letter to the SHO of the Vasant Kunj police station on June 8 this year, Khalid had said: “I wish to bring to your notice that a person identifying himself as Ravi Pujari has been making threatening calls to Vadgam MLA (Gujarat) Jignesh Mevani for the last three days, threatening to kill him. Today, he made another call to him and also sent a message threatening to kill him as well as myself. The screenshot of the message along with the number of the sender is attached herewith. It reads, ‘Yeh jo provocative speeches dena bandh kar varna thok dunga. Umar Khalid bhi meri hit list mein he. Ye mere tarf se warning. Mafia don Ravi Pujari’.”

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JNU student Umar Khalid showing his arm after he was shot at outside the Constitution Club in New Delhi on Monday. (Express photo by Renuka Puri)

A senior officer who did not wish to be named acknowledged the receipt of the letter and added: “We received a complaint on June 13 and, since then, we tried to approach him eight times. But three times, he was not present at JNU; once he was out of station; twice his phone was switched off; once a security guard at JNU told police personnel he was not staying there; and during our last conversation, Khalid said he would meet us on August 14, at Lodhi Colony office of the Special Cell.”

Also Read | Lone PCR van near Constitution Club, area was buzzing at time of attack

On Monday, Khalid wrote an application for security yet again: “I want to state that there is a continuous threat to my life and limb. This has increased after today’s attempt on my life. I urge you to please take cognizance of this and provide me police security.”

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The accused fled after the pistol slipped off his hands. (Express photo/Renuka Puri)

“At the time when I had filed my earlier letter, police had told me that they would assess the security threat and get back. But they did not act promptly. I only received a call on July 20, a few days before my PhD submission deadline, asking me to come to some place and meet some police person. I said I was busy and would get back after submission. I received a call yesterday too, and I was supposed to meet them on August 14,” he said.

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Khalid’s father SQR Ilyas alleged, “It’s shocking that the incident could take place in such a high security area. For 15 minutes after the incident, no police personnel was there. I believe this was not a spontaneous attack. It was planned; he (the attacker) knew Umar would be there to attend the programme. It’s just that the assailant seemed to be untrained, which is why he got scared and fled.”

Also Read | JNU’s Umar Khalid has narrow escape, assailant’s gun jams

Both the JNU students’ union and the teachers’ association expressed shock at the incident, with the latter saying: “JNU has been vilified through an organised political campaign.”

Shehla Rashid too approaches cops

JNU student Shehla Rashid Monday filed a complaint in Srinagar, alleging that she had been threatened by a man claiming to be Ravi Pujari, on SMS. An FIR has been registered at Rajbagh Police station under section 506 of the RPC. “It is worthwhile to mention that the above SMS gains significance in the wake of an attack on Umar Khalid today at New Delhi,” Rashid stated in her complaint. ENS