The Vice Chancellor of JNU and other officials were allowed to come out of the office after being gheraoed by protesting students since Wednesday afternoon.
Students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University had “illegally confined” the University’s top brass, including the Vice-Chancellor and rector on Wednesday evening in connection with the case of a missing student. They were held captive all night.
Talking to ANI, JNU VC M Jagadesh Kumar said that the incident of the top brass being gheraoed was unfortunate and illegal. He said that even the authorities are concerned about Najeeb's well-being. He also mentioned that he was forced to stay in his office since 2:30 pm without food. He even had to sleep on the floor.
Najeeb Ahmed, a first year MSc student, went missing four days ago on Saturday after an alleged altercation with some students the night before. Nobody has heard from him since.
At the same time, Home Minister Rajnath Singh was briefed about the case by Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma.
Some students told The Quint that they had a meeting with M Jagadesh Kumar, the Vice Chancellor, in the afternoon, following which they decided to block the entrances of the administrative block, the area where he sits. They also alleged that he acted in an “insensitive” manner on the issue.
Vice Chancellor ‘Confined’
The Vice Chancellor, meanwhile, made an appeal to the students, according to The Times of India.
“They have wrongfully confined us since 2.30pm with unreasonable demand like bring Najeeb immediately. These are things not in our hands but with the police. We are doing whatever we can. We also want safe return of Najeeb. But they (students) have not even listened to our plea. There is a lady official who is unwell and she too is inside,” The Times of India reported M Jagadesh Kumar as saying.
The report also carried JNU students’ union president Mohit Pandey denying the fact that they “confined” him.
“We have not locked them in. We are lying outside the administrative block and have told them if they want to walk over us and leave, they are free to,” he told the publication.
A senior official further said that some of the students’ demands are being met.
“They are asking the JNU administration to make an appeal to Najeeb Ahmed to return to JNU without fear of any victimization. But that was done at around 11.30 am itself and the same was uploaded on the website in the afternoon. Then they are asking why the administration has not lodged an FIR. But the administration had already written to the police multiple times and is in constant touch.”
Najeeb’s Sister, Kanhaiya Kumar Appeal For Action
Addressing a crowd of protesting students in the University, Najeeb Ahmed’s sister on Wednesday asked students not to politicise the issue and focus, instead, on finding him. She further expressed sorrow about the insensitivity with which members of the top brass have been speaking to her family.
“This is not only about my brother, it’s about all of you. Anybody can get kidnapped, beaten up.” “Do what you can to find him,” she appealed to the students. “I want my brother back, alive and well,” she said.
Former JNU Student Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar also requested students to maintain unity and work with the union to find Ahmed. He said they should let go of differences with members of the union and work together to protest against the administration.
Students Summoned over the Case
Meanwhile, JNU administration summoned 12 students to depose before the proctorial committee in connection with the case, as reported by some publications.
A statement from the college further said:
“The committee has also asked anyone who wants to depose to come forward and help in the investigation. Condemning the students for blocking the administrative block, JNU teachers also urged the administration to put more pressure on the police to find Ahmed and appealed for him to return without fear of victimisation.”
On the night of 14 October, three students, Vikrant Kumar, Ankit Kumar and Sunil Pratap were involved in a brawl with Najeeb Ahmed when they were having their regular door-to-door campaigning session at around 11:30 pm.
The above mentioned altercation took place in room number 106 of Mahi-Mandvi Hostel where Najeeb had moved into only 20-odd days before the incident. The hostel elections are due next month and Vikrant is one the candidates contesting for the secretary post.
It is not clear what led to the brawl, as Najeeb’s roommate was not present at that time.
Source: PTI and The Times of India