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    Who is Juraj Cintula, poet and writer who opened fire on Slovak PM Robert Fico

    Who is Juraj Cintula, poet and writer who opened fire on Slovak PM Robert Fico


    NEW DELHI: Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who was shot outside a government building in Handlova, is in stable condition, a hospital official said.

    The PM was shot in the chest, abdomen, and one limb. Interior Ministry spokesman Matej Neumann confirmed that it was an “assassination attempt”. This assassination attempt on Fico shook the small country and reverberated across the continent weeks before European elections.

    Who is the gunman that tried to kill Slovak PM?

    Juraj Cintula, a 71-year-old poet hailing from the western town of Levice, took to online platforms to express his grievances against Mr. Fico before confronting the Left-wing nationalist with gunfire at close range on Wednesday.

    A photograph of the poet, shared on X (formerly Twitter), depicted him protesting against the government’s contentious reforms, notably the abolition of the special prosecutor’s office, back in February.

    The motive for the attack remains unclear, though Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok said the assassination attempt was politically motivated and that the “perpetrator’s decision was born closely after the presidential election”.

    Despite warnings from the European Commission, the anti-corruption office was shuttered in March by Mr. Fico, who faced accusations of presiding over a mafia state during a previous tenure, according to Telegraph.

    Regarded as one of the EU’s most pro-Russian leaders, Mr. Fico campaigned on a platform advocating an end to weapons aid to Ukraine.

    In a 2022 post for the Movement Against Violence, Mr. Cintula vehemently condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, dismissing Kremlin assertions of Slavic brotherhood between the two nations: “What Slavic brotherhood?” he wrote. “He is only the aggressor and the attacked.”

    A friend from Levice, speaking to Markiza TV, disclosed that they engaged in political debates, noting differences in their views on Russia. “I lean more towards Russia. He held contrasting opinions,” the friend remarked Telegraph reported.

    In 2015, Mr. Cintula established the campaign group Against Violence, striving to obtain official recognition for it in Slovakia. A petition circulated by him underscored the notion that violence often stems from ordinary dissatisfaction with the prevailing state of affairs. “Violence is often a reaction of people, as a form of expression of ordinary dissatisfaction with the state of affairs. Let’s be dissatisfied, but not violent,” a petition circulated by him said.

    The suspected gunman’s son expressed shock to local media, revealing that his father legally owned the firearm.

    (With inputs from agencies)



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