Umar Khalid says people in powerful seats are the real culprits.

Umar Khalid says people in powerful seats are the real culprits.
Highlights

On Tuesday JNU student Umar Khalid said that having seen the assassinations of one activist after the other in the last few years in the country, he knew that someday a gun may be turned against him too

On Tuesday JNU student Umar Khalid said that “having seen the assassinations of one activist after the other in the last few years” in the country, he knew that “someday a gun may be turned” against him too.

In a statement that was released the day after he was shot outside the Constitution Club in New Delhi by an anonymous person, he said “two days before 15th August, the question also is what does 'freedom' even mean if the citizens of this country have to be ready to die for their 'crime' of just being vocal against injustice?”.

What was the most paradoxical is that he went to attend an event named “Freedom from Fear” when the attack happened, he said. “The fact that two days before Independence Day, in one of the highest security zones of the national capital, an armed assailant could dare to attack me in broad daylight only goes onto show the brazen impunity that some people feel they enjoy under the present regime,” he said.

In a tweet which was aimed at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said that he has a suggestion for the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech. “Can you guarantee that there will be no attack on those who criticise your government and its many failures?”

Mr. Khalid said the real culprit for the attack on him was not the unidentified gunman but those who, from their seats of power, have been spreading a toxic atmosphere of hatred, 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.”

He appealed to the Delhi Police to provide him with security as there was a “continuous threat” to his life. “In the last two years, I have demanded police protection twice from the Delhi Police, but only to be met with a callous response. I have been given death threats several times in the past and receive several threats and insightful messages every day on social media. After yesterday’s incident, what is the Delhi Police waiting for?” he said.

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