Former student union leader of Jawaharlal University, Umar Khalid, escaped unhurt on Monday after an unidentified person allegedly made a desperate attempt to assassinate him. The man fired at Umar outside the Constitution Club of India, which is barely few hundred meters away from the the parliament.
A visibly shaken Umar told Quint website, “A person came to me with a gun, tried to overpower me, tried to shoot me down. Thankfully my friends were with me, who tried to overpower him and he ran away and tried to fire from across the road…I was very scared at that moment when he pointed his gun at me. At that moment I was reminded of Gauri Lankesh and I thought that moment had arrived.”
He added, “What has happened in the last is the last two years is the disinformation propaganda and hateful campaign by certain media houses and by troll army of the ruling party. Anyone who questions the policies of the government, they are branded anti nationals.”
Although the Delhi Police was quick to rubbish Umar’s claims saying that there was no incident of firing at constitution club, not many appeared to believe the cops, who report to the BJP-led government at the Centre. Umar has been a fierce critic of the Centre’s Narendra Modi government.
There were many on Twitter who agreed with Umar that certain TV channels were responsible for Monday’s assassination attempt against him. Within minutes of the reports of the attack, Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami started to trend on Twitter. That was because many began to hold him responsible for the murderous attempt against Umar.
Goswami has vilified Umar on many occasions in the past on his channel that he founded with the help of BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar. Journalist Shivam Vij tweeted, “It is clear there was a failed assassination attempt on @UmarKhalidJNU’s life outside Constitution Club in the heart of New Delhi on the eve of Independence Day. Partly responsible for this are Arnab Goswami, Rahul Shivshankar and ABVP who have incited hate against Umar.” Shivam’s subsequent tweet was even more brutal when he addressed Goswami as a ‘terrorist.’ He wrote, “The gun that tried to kill @UmarKhalidJNU today? It’s called news TV. Terrorist Arnab Goswami, hang your head in shame. ”
Demanding action against Goswami, an IITian, Siddharth, wrote, “SC should take suo motto cognisance of the attack on @UmarKhalidJNU and take action against the likes of Arnab Goswami and the TV organisations like @republic and @TimesNow for spewing hate on primetime national TV.”
Activist Kavita Krishnan wrote, “The BIG HUGE ELEPHANT in the room is that so many – from Home Min Rajnath Singh to Rahul Shivshankar to Arnab Goswami to Navika Kumar to the Chee News fake video mongers got away with branding students as ‘anti national’ and egging on the Sanghi assassins.” Journalist Prem Panicker tweeted, “In sum — Arnab Goswami, Rahul Shivshankar, Navika Kumar, and their fellow travellers on Hindi channels with a similar bent of mind and style, are a disgrace. Just what is the price of your soul, guys? It used to be 30 pieces of silver — what is it today, given GST and all?”