NEW DELHI: JNU student Umar Khalid who surfaced on campus, 10-days after police began searching for him in connection with a sedition case, says in the last week he got to know things about himself which he never knew.
"My name is, of course, Umar Khalid, but I am not a terrorist. I thank all the students and 'comrades' among the faculty members who took part in what he referred to as a 'fight' by the JNU students.
"People have told me things about me in the last week that I never myself knew. I have been to Pakistan twice even when I have no passport. They think I was planning to hold this event in 17-18 universities when I don't have much of an influence even inside JNU," he said addressing a gathering of over 500 students at varsity's administration block in wee hours today.
28-year-old Khalid, who is pursing PhD on the Adivasi history of Jharkhand, further said, "If Jaish-e-Mohammed gets to know I'm being linked with them, they might protest against the RSS. For the last seven years since I have done politics on this campus, I have never projected myself as a Muslim. For the first time in seven years, I felt like a Muslim".
"It's true that some of the slogans used there weren't ours... If there is a small problem, I see with those slogans, it is that when we are trying to enter into a dialogue with the 'Indian population', it creates a lot of antagonism rather than dialogue. The population you are trying to talk with is getting antagonised".
"I know what my parents and sisters went through. I saw the filthy threats on my sister's Facebook wall. They would say 'Bharat Mata ki jai'. It reminded me of how nuns were raped in Kandhamal by goons who said 'Bharat Mata ki jai'."
"If 1947 was our tryst with destiny then this is our tryst with reality. It is up to us to show how we will stand up to this reality," he added.
Khalid along with Anirban Bhattacharya, Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar and Anant Prakash had gone missing from the campus since February 12 after JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested in a sedition case lodged in connection with an event held on the campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.
However, they returned to campus last night after they were assured that "normalcy" has been restored on campus but they refused to surrender before police saying they have not been issued any summons.