(This is a developing story and we will update this article as more details emerge)
Today, news emerged that unidentified gunmen had opened fire at Umar Khalid, the now rusticated student of JNU who was also a part of the tukde-tukde gang. Indian Express tweeted Umar Khalid was safe and that the incident had occurred in front of constitution club.
Just In | Unidentified man opened fire at JNU student Umar Khalid outside Constitution Club of India. He is not injured
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) August 13, 2018
Soon, ANI tweeted a “witness statement” where an ‘eyewitness’ was quoted as saying that they were at a tea-stall when a man in a white shirt came, pushed and “opened fire” at Umar Khalid.
There was an event, Umar Khalid accompanied us. We were at a tea stall when a man in white shirt came,pushed&opened fire at him. Khalid lost his balance,fell down&bullet missed him. We tried to catch the man. He fired aerial shots,pistol slipped off his hands,he fled: Eyewitness pic.twitter.com/oqRcfgRPcY
— ANI (@ANI) August 13, 2018
No sooner had the news emerged, many started to blame Republic TV news anchor Arnab Goswami for this incident.
Controversial journalist Shivam Vij, who had earlier written about fanning caste tensions to displace Modi took to Twitter to assert that the blame for this “assassination attempt” lies squarely on Arnab Goswami. Although, he has now deleted his tweet.
Soon, Shehla Rashid, eternal rabble-rouser and JNU student activist also chimed in and said that while she has spoken to Umar Khalid and he is okay, the blame lies with Republic TV and other “hate media” who whipped up hate against Khalid, presumably, because they reported his political leanings and statements.
However, a senior journalist with India Today, Rajdeep Sardesai who more often than not agrees with the ones who jumped the gun today reported that the police has given a statement to India Today asserting that there was no firing incident at all. The police told India Today that two suspects were seen with pistols in the vicinity and they have been apprehended.
Breaking; Delhi police to @IndiaToday : there was no incident of firing at constitution club where activist Umar Khaled was; two suspects with pistols were seen in the vicinity and have been apprehended..
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) 13 August 2018
ANI has tweeted that the police is saying that the details are being verified. The police have mentioned that Umar Khalid claims that someone pounced on him and pushed, thereafter trying to fire at him.
It is being verified. He said that he was attacked. Somebody pounced on Umar Khalid and pushed, thereafter he tried to fire at Khalid.But the person immediately couldn’t fire.People started chasing him thereafter according to Khalid the attacker fired in the air:Madhur Verma, DCP pic.twitter.com/PrjsHNz3p0
— ANI (@ANI) August 13, 2018
An eyewitness account has now emerged that claims that Umar Khalid was not present at the claimed location at all. Vikas Bhadauria, a journalist with ABP tweeted a video of another journalist, Santosh Kumar with Dainik Bhaskar who was present when the entire incident happened.
Journalist Santosh Kumar says that he saw some men fighting. During the fight, one of them took a gun and tried to fire but the gun didn’t go off. Later, the person ran and fired the gun in the air. He claims that at that moment, Umar Khalid wasn’t present that the tea-stall at all. It was only later that Umar Khalid came out of the Constitution Club to the tea-stall.
पत्रकार @santoshji रफी मार्ग पर गोलीकांड के चश्मदीद हैं,चाय की दुकान पर अचानक दो लड़कों के बीच झगड़ा हुआ,एक लड़की ने बीच-बचाव की कोशिश की,तभी एक लड़के ने पिस्तौल निकालकर फायर किया लेकिन गोली नहीं चली,बाद में हमलावर हवाई फायर कर फरार हो गया।टब तक उमर खालिद मौके पर नहीं था। pic.twitter.com/2Hz7t143LB
— Vikas Bhadauria ABP (@vikasbha) August 13, 2018
However, Santosh Kumar has now said that he can’t be sure whether Umar Khalid was present or not.
लड़कों के झगड़े में मैं नहीं देख पाया कि वो लड़का जिस पर बंदूक़ तानी गइ वो कौन था. क्योंकि वो लड़का नीचे कीचड़ में गिरने के बाद क्लब की ओर तेजी से गया था. बाद में बंदूक़ वाला लडका बीच सड़क पर हवाई फ़ायरिंग करता हुआ भाग गया.जो लड़का नीचे गिरा था वो उमर था या नहीं, मुझे मालूम नहीं. https://t.co/MZd6ZgBV7J
— Santosh Kumar (@santoshji) August 13, 2018