In a statement about JNU student Najeeb Ahmad, who has reportedly been missing since Saturday morning after an altercation with ABVP students, the university administration referred to Ahmad as the “accused”. The students’ union has responded to this by calling for a university-wide strike, Indian Express reported.
The JNU teachers’ association has also condemned the word “accused” being used for Ahmad.
After Ahmad’s disappearance, a case of abduction was registered at the Vasant Kunj police station on Sunday. The altercation between Ahmad and ABVP allegedly started on Friday night, when Ahmad allegedly slapped ABVP member Vikrant Kumar when he came to campaign in his room. The JNU students’ union has said that Ahmad later apologised for this, but ABVP members “brutally attacked” him. The ABVP has denied these allegations.
The university said in its statement, as quoted by Indian Express: “… wardens of the hostel met and discussed all the issues related to the incident with the students present, including the hostel president, JNUSU president and roommate of the accused… The matter was resolved that night and a decision was taken on disciplinary measures. The students were assured of a speedy inquiry. In the meantime, the accused student’s parents lodged a police complaint, saying their son was missing from the hostel.”
Ahmad called his mother between 2 am and 2:30 am on the night of the altercation. “He said nothing except that ‘Mere saath koi haadsa ho gaya hai, aap aa jaiye (There has been an incident, please come)’. I told him I would leave as soon as possible, but would not make it to Delhi before noon the next day. I called his roommate Qasim, who said it was just a small incident and everything was under control,” Ahmad’s mother Fatima Nafeesi told Indian Express.
“I spoke to him again Saturday at 11 am, from Anand Vihar Railway Station, and told him I was on the way, but when I reached the university around noon, he was gone. His mobile phone, wallet, everything was in the room. Now, I sit holding his mobile, hoping he will call me any minute,” she said. “I just want my son back. If the university wants to rusticate him, let them do so…”
Sushil Kumar, senior warden of the hostel where the incident occurred, said that Ahmad had admitted to slapping the ABVP member, but he did not see anyone being beaten up. “He just said he had done it because he got angry… I did not see him being beaten up,” he said.
The JNU students’ union said in a statement that attempts were being made to “terrorise” students in the hostel where Ahmad lives, NDTV reported. “Yesterday, a wardens’ meeting to prepare a report of the incident was also repeatedly disrupted by ABVP members,” the statement said.