New Delhi: Politicians, student leaders and activists condemned the alleged attack on JNU student leader Umar Khalid outside the Constitution Club here today saying the incident was the fallout of a “hate campaign” against him on social media and mainstream media.
Some unidentified men targeted the JNU student leader and gunshots were heard but he escaped unhurt, according to witnesses even as the police asserted it will verify the incident.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted against the attack and said, “Wage a motivated hate campaign against individuals & sooner or later someone will feel emboldened enough to take the law into their own hands. The attack on @UmarKhalidJNU is the direct result of the relentless hate campaign using both social & mainstream media. Glad he’s well.”
Tagging the official Twitter handle of PMO India, Dalit leader and Independent MLA from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani claimed that “last month when Umar Khalid, Shehla Rashid and I had received death threats, we had sought police protection and even till today, none of us have been given any kind of security.”
“Even those media groups, who are working to help BJP achieve political gains, and call Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid as members of ‘tukde tukde gang’ and ‘anti-nationals’ are also to be blamed for the attack,” he posted on Twitter.
JNU student leader Shehla Rashid said the incident was the “direct result of hatred whipped up by … and other hate media” and called it “shocking and condemnable”.
Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur opined it was time the online mob took to the streets against such incidents.
“I want to say I’m shocked and surprised but I’m not. It was only time the online mob came out on the streets. And God forbid something happens tomorrow to someone the blood will be on our hands for not condemning the hatred enough.
“Gauri Lankesh, Kalburgi, Shujaat Bhukhari and now an attack on @UmarKhalidJNU. History tells us that these are the warning signs before a perfectly normal, thriving nation turns into a battlefield. How are we still this ignorant and keep missing them?” she posted on the microblogging site.
Social activist Kavita Krishnan also blamed certain news channels for the “murderous violence” against Khalid.
“Shocking attempt to kill #UmarKhalid – ironically outside Construction Club in Delhi. The hate speech and fake news by news channels targeting him and others as ‘anti national’ directly results in such murderous violence, she wrote on Twitter.
JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar tweeted in Hindi and said, “What could be a bigger evidence of jungle raj in the country that the copies of the Constitution are burnt and Umar Khalid is fired at, close to the Parliament. The confidence of criminals has increased under the current government and media.”
Actress and JNU alumnus Swara Bhasker also posted on Twitter, “What are we becoming?!???!? A lawless anarchic state of affairs.. so damaging to our institutions and credibility at a responsible State. Even if you don’t like umar’s views! #UmarKhalid.”
Comedian Kunal Kamra posted on social media, “If this doesn’t chill your spine what will? If you choose silence now when will you speak? If this is not wrong, what is wrong?In Solidarity.” PTI