Umar Khalid is an Indian social activist and former student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) who was involved in the 2016 JNU Sedition row. He is the son of SQR Ilyas.[5][6] He is currently associated with two groups - Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Student Organisation and United Against Hate.[7][8][9]

Umar Khalid
Umar khalid.jpg
EducationBA History, Kirori Mal College, Delhi University[1] MA, Mphil, Phd, JNU[2][3]
Alma materKirori Mal College, Delhi University Jawaharlal Nehru University
Known forMaoism Marxism, 2016 JNU Sedition row
Umar Khalid (second from left) speaking at an Amnesty International event, Conversations 18' in New Delhi.[4]

Umar Khalid was a former Democratic Students' Union (DSU) leader in JNU.[10]

Early life and educationEdit

Umar Khalid is the son of S. Q. R. Ilyas, the national president of the Welfare Party of India. His father is also an executive member of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.[11] His parents live in Delhi and he is originally from the Amravati district of Maharashtra. His family moved to Delhi in 1981, they live in the Jamia Nagar area.[12]

Khalid studied history at the Kirori Mal College of the Delhi University.[1] He later did his Masters and M.Phil in history at Jawarhlal Nehru University (JNU). His M.Phil dissertation was on 'Hos of Singhbhum'.[2]

Initially JNU refused to allow Umar Khalid to submit his PhD thesis in July 2018.[13] JNU refused to accept the submission because of the High-Level Enquiry Committee of JNU that had looked into the 9 February 2016 incident protests at the University of which Umar Khalid was a participant.[14] Umar Khalid went to the High Court of Delhi related to JNU's refusal to accept his PhD submission.[15][16] On 24 July 2018 the High Court directed JNU to allow submission of the thesis.[16] On 2 August 2018, JNU accepted the PhD thesis submission.[3][17] The PhD thesis was on “Contesting claims and contingencies of the rule on Adivasis of Jharkhand” in 2018.[18][19]

Political opinionEdit

According to his friends Khalid is influenced with communist ideology but still he is a Muslim as he claimed in his latest speech in chatra vidyarthi prishad mumbai.[20]

Activism and controversiesEdit

JNU Sedition RowEdit

On 9 February 2016, students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) held a protest on their campus against the capital punishment meted out to the 2001 Indian Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, and Kashmiri separatist Maqbool Bhat. During the "fracas" that ensued, a small group of people raised slogans that were generally described as "anti-India" slogans.[21]

Four days after the initial event, the Delhi Police arrested JNU Student Union president Kanhaiya Kumar on charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy, under section 124 of the Indian Penal Code dating back to 1860.[22] Five other students: Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Rama Naga, Anant Prakash and Ashutosh Kumar, went into hiding after the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar and returned 10 days later. Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya surrendered to the police and were taken into custody.[23]

The arrest and the use of the sedition law were heavily criticized as being a suppression of political dissent.[24][25][26] An inquiry committee appointed later by the administration of JNU initially asked 21 students to explain their contravention of university rules. Based on the inquiry, the committee meted out varying punishments to a number of students. Kanhaiya Kumar was fined 10,000 rupees, after which Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were rusticated from the university for one semester.[27]

Bhima Koregaon incidentEdit

Along with Jignesh Mevani, Umar Khalid was booked under a first-information report for giving 'provocative' speeches in Pune. The criminal charges against Mevani and Khalid was for promoting enmity between different groups through their speeches. The Elgaar Parishad rally, where this reportedly happened, was held in Pune to mark the 200th year of the Battle of Koregaon, a place in present-day Pune district, which was fought between the then British Indian Army and the Peshwas.[28]

Assassination attemptEdit

On 13 August 2018, Khalid narrowly escaped an assassination attempt.[29][30][31] The two accused were arrested on 20 August 2018 by police from Fatehabad, Haryana. Before the arrest, the accused had uploaded a video on Facebook on 15 August, saying the attack was an Independence Day gift for India, and they also wanted to highlight the issue of cow protection.[32][33]


  1. ^ a b "'My name is Umar Khalid and I am a Delhi University student…'". The Indian Express. 2016-02-28. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  2. ^ a b "Umar Khalid, My Student". The Indian Express. 2016-02-26. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  3. ^ a b Reporter, Staff (2018-08-03). "JNU accepts Umar's thesis". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  4. ^ "Amnesty International India's Youth and Media Conclave | Online Violence Against Women | Communal Violence & Communal Harmony". Amnesty International India. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  5. ^ "JNU student's father: If you're branding him a traitor for my (SIMI) past…". The Indian Express. 2016-02-19. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  6. ^ "Who is Umar Khalid". The Indian Express. 2018-08-13. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  7. ^ "First they came after JNU, now it's human rights activists". ThePrint. 29 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Student organisations divided over JNUSU's latest form of protest". The Indian Express. 2016-10-21. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  9. ^ DelhiFebruary 22, India Today Web Desk New; February 22, 2016UPDATED:; Ist, 2016 14:54. "10 things you should know about Umar Khalid". India Today. Retrieved 2019-03-06.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  10. ^ Sebastian, Kritika Sharma (2016-02-24). "Umar Khalid, an activist on campus". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  11. ^ Son of soil and Lenin fan: Students who became the face of JNU dissent, Hindustan Times, 25 February 2016.
  12. ^ "#SeditionDebate: Everything you need to know about Umar Khalid, the man they're calling 'Kashmiri traitor' - Firstpost". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  13. ^ "JNU says Umar, 2 others can't submit PhD papers - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  14. ^ "JNU refuses to accept Umar's PhD thesis". The Hindu. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  15. ^ "Despite HC Order, JNU Refuses to Accept PhD Thesis of Umar Khalid". The Wire. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  16. ^ a b "Allow five to submit thesis, Delhi HC tells JNU". The Indian Express. 2018-07-25. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  17. ^ "JNU Accepts Umar Khalid's PhD Thesis after Repeated Snubbing by HC | Caravan Daily". Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  18. ^ "JNU Admin Refuses To Accept Umar Khalid's PhD Thesis Despite Court Orders". Youth Ki Awaaz. 2018-07-28. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  19. ^ "10 things you should know about Umar Khalid". India Today. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  20. ^ Sebastian, Kritika Sharma (19 February 2016). "'Umar Khalid not a practising Muslim'". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  21. ^ "Afzal Guru: A martyr in JNU campus? Anti-India slogans raised, no arrests made". India Today. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  22. ^ "JNU student leader held on 'sedition' charges over Afzal Guru event". The Indian Express. 2016-02-13. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  23. ^ "JNU row: Kanhaiya Kumar to lead push for Umar and Anirban's release from custody - Firstpost". Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  24. ^ Wahab, Hisham ul (2016-02-29). "The Way Umar Khalid Is Being Singled Out Proves Him Right". India Resists. Retrieved 2018-09-15.
  25. ^ Majumder, Sanjoy (2016-02-15). "Why an Indian student has been arrested for sedition". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  26. ^ "New Delhi campus row grabs national attention". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  27. ^ "JNU sedition row: Kanhaiya fined Rs 10,000, Umar Khalid rusticated for one semester - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  28. ^ "Bhima-Koregaon violence: FIR against Jignesh Mevani, Umar Khalid for 'provocative' speeches in Pune". The Indian Express. 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  29. ^ "JNU's Umar Khalid has narrow escape, assailant's gun jams". The Indian Express. 2018-08-13. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  30. ^ "Dastardly attempt to assassinate Umar Khalid | CJP". CJP. 2018-08-13. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  31. ^ "Attack on Umar Khalid: Protesters ask police why no action - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  32. ^ "Delhi court sends 2 men who attacked Umar Khalid to judicial custody - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  33. ^ "JNU student leader Umar Khalid attacked in Delhi, escapes unhurt". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-08-30.

External linksEdit