Two Men Claim Credit for Attack on Umar Khalid, Video Sent to Cops
In a video that is being widely circulated on WhatsApp and Facebook, two men are seen claiming responsibility for the attack on JNU student leader Umar Khalid on 13 August outside New Delhi’s Constitution Club.
On Independence Day, one of the men seen in the video also made the video public through his Facebook profile, with the caption “Deshdrohi Umar Khalid par hamla, zyaada se zyaada share kare (Attack on the traitor Umar Khalid, share as much as possible).” Both men, identified as Naveen Dalal and Darvesh Shahpur, refer to themselves as gau rakshaks on Facebook.
The Quint has accessed a copy of the video but is not publishing the video in its entirety as the speech used is inflammatory. This report contains the key highlights of the claims that have been made in the video.
One of the eyewitnesses to the attack has claimed that he identifies one of the men in the video as the man who attacked Umar Khalid outside Constitution Club. Another eyewitness says there are specific similarities between the facial features of the attacker, and one of the men in the video.
‘Attack on Umar Khalid Our Independence Day Gift’
The video starts with the two men saying, “Inquilab zindabad, Vande Mataram, Bharat Mata ki jai, jo yeh gaddar nahi bolte (what these traitors don’t say).”
They also say, “We respect the Supreme Court and the Constitution, but we are angry that there is no proper provision in the Constitution to punish these mad dogs, like the JNU gang. Our elders in Haryana have taught us that mad dogs should be done away with, without delay. We, Darvesh Shahpur and Naveen Dalal Mandothi, are responsible for the attack on Umar Khalid in Delhi. This attack was a gift from us this Independence Day. We will surrender to the police on 17 August at 12 noon at patriot Kartar Singh Sarabha’s village, at his home.”
Kartar Singh Sarabha was a Sikh revolutionary who died in 1915. The village of his birthplace, Sarabha, falls in Punjab’s Ludhiana district, at a distance of 328 km from Delhi.
‘Do Not Care If We Lose Our Lives for This Attack’
Towards the end of the clip, which is 4 minutes and 31 seconds long, the man on the right of the screen says, “Our message to all our fellow Indians is that we have done this attack not for ourselves, but for the entire nation. We do not care even if we lose our lives for this. We will not let terrorists like Afzal be born in this country.”
They continue, “He (Umar Khalid) had said ‘Bharat tere tukde honge.’ We will not tolerate those who stay in India and try to break India into pieces, those who commemorate the death anniversary of a terrorist by chanting anti-national slogans like ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. We seek the help of all our fellow Indians in this fight that we have started. They should not support such anti-nationals."
The man on the left of the screen continues, “Umar Khalid says that there is fear in this nation. Look at the number of soldiers at our borders who are getting martyred, so many police personnel are working day and night on the streets. If you are still scared, go to Pakistan. Your fear was supposed to be put to an end, brother.”
Eyewitness: Attacker Present in the Video
27-year-old Shariq Husain, one of the eyewitnesses to the attack on Umar Khalid, told The Quint, "The man on the right of the screen in the video was the man who attacked Umar outside Constitution Club."
Banojyotsna Lahiri, another eyewitness to the attack, claims that there are specific similarities between the facial features of the attacker and one of the men in the video.
Lahiri adds, “For a few seconds during the attack outside Constitution Club, I had a full body view of the attacker. However, in the video that is being circulated, I can only see a close-up till the bust. The Delhi Police should take these two men in for questioning and we should be called in for identification.”
Trolls Praise Naveen Dalal and Darvesh Shahpur
Here are some of the adulatory comments that the two men, Naveen Dalal and Darvesh Shahpur, have received on the Facebook post.
- “Good job”
- “Jai hind”
- “Wa ladla (Great, boy)”
- “love u bhai”
- “Bhai shab bhut khub hum Aapke sath h (Brother, very good, all of us are with you)”
Will the Police Act?
Speaking to The Quint, Umar Khalid confirmed that he has forwarded the video clip to the Delhi Police. Khalid said he received the video on WhatsApp from a friend, who had in turn got it from another friend.
The key question that this latest development throws up is this: Will the Delhi Police act on the basis of this video, and locate and arrest the two men who are claiming responsibility for the attack on Umar Khalid? Given that the two men have posted the video on their own Facebook timelines, the police’s job of trying to locate them will have become considerably easier. But will the police take action?
MM Oberoi, Special CP of the Delhi Police’s Special Cell, which is handling the investigation, told The Quint, “Someone forwarded this video to us. Our team is looking into this matter. Our job is to probe every lead we get during the investigation. As of now, we haven’t reached any conclusion.”
(Note: The Quint has not been able to independently verify the authenticity of the video and the identities of the men who feature in it.)