Police hunt for Umar Khalid, kin allege threat calls from gangster
Delhi Police on Friday evening registered an FIR on the complaint of JNU student Umar Khalid’s family who claimed that they were receiving threat calls from gangster Ravi Pujari.
Police have provided security to the family at their south-east Delhi residence.
Khalid’s father Syed Qasim Ilyas said that at around 5.30pm, his secretary received a call on the office landline. “The caller identified himself as Ravi Pujari and accused us of hiding Khalid. He said my son has been to Pakistan, which was again incorrectly reported by the media. The caller gave me a number and asked me to give it to my son. I checked the number on Truecaller and found it to be that of Ravi Pujari,” said Syed.
Sources said that preliminary investigation has revealed that the calls were supposedly made via VOIP.
Police suspect that the caller may have got the number of Khalid’s family from the party office’s website.
Syed is the President of the Welfare Party of India. A case of criminal intimidation under 506 IPC has been registered.
Meanwhile, police on Friday continued their search for Khalid, absconding since JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest. Police teams conducted raids in Delhi, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and other states.
Syed said he had no idea of his son’s whereabouts. “I last spoke to him after watching his interview on a television channel. After watching the interview, I sensed he will get into trouble. So I called him and asked him to come home. But he was confident that there will be no motivated campaign against him,” Syed said.
There were media reports claiming that Khalid’s cell phone records revealed that he had made over 800 calls, including many to Kashmir. The reports also suggested that he had made calls to Bangladesh and visited universities across the country days before the protest. However, no Delhi police officer came on record to confirm the reports.
Syed also clarified he was a member of the Students Islamic Movement of India in the 1980s but he said SIMI was not a banned organization then. “My membership expired in 1985. It has been more than 31 years. Why is that being used to target my son?” he said.
Khalid’s younger sister Kulsum Fatima has also received hate messages and threat messages on her social media profile.
Delhi Police on Friday also detained and questioned a journalist about the whereabouts of Khalid.