Since July 12, Sachin Pandit has been keeping an extremely busy schedule. Every day in Duryai – a village in Greater Noida – Pandit wakes up to a crowd thronging his home, cheering for him, garlanding him and trying to shake his hand. After all, he is a celebrity of sorts here.
To what does he owe his celebrity status, you might ask. Well, the 27-year-old law student and a member of the BJP was jailed on February 3 this year, for shooting at AIMIM leader and MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s vehicle.
Though he had been arrested along with 22-year-old Shubham Gujjar for the shooting, it was Pandit who is accused to have primarily plotted the act as per the Uttar Pradesh police’s chargesheet. The two were captured on a CCTV camera attempting to shoot at Owaisi at a toll plaza. The leader was returning to Delhi from Meerut after addressing a rally ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections.
That one criminal act has been enough to earn Pandit a hero’s welcome after his release on bail. With people thronging his house, Pandit graces them with a visit. As sweets and milk are distributed among the awestruck visitors who sit on hurriedly arranged chairs facing their hero, Pandit sits on the lone sofa in the room with not an ounce of guilt showing on his face. Rather, he regales the gathered crowds who praise him for his act of ‘bravery’. “Jai Sri Ram! Hail the martyrs of this country. I am your Deshbhakt Sachin Hindu Bhaiya,” he introduces himself to his fanbase.
Certain Maharana Pratap’s blood runs in his veins (let’s not talk DNA!), he equates his criminal act to none other than Bhagat Singh’s bravery. Like Bhagat Singh, he isn’t scared of being hung either, he stresses and shoots down any question of tendering an apology. “No compromise with my self-respect” is his mantra.
Not only is he not remorseful of his criminal act, he even has the audacity to give a veiled threat to Owaisi every now and then. This, when he is out on bail. But with BJP members visiting him in openly marked vehicles and people idolising him, he does not need to worry about the courts or the police.
What is it about the Hyderabad MP that has made him his target no. 1, one wonders? To go by his own statements, it is apparently because Owaisi has hurt Hindu sentiments and has spoken out against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. As far as Pandit is concerned, these are crimes big enough to merit a killing