JNU on the boil: As protests continue, V-C says all efforts are being made to find Najeeb Ahmed

The air is tense in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). A student has been missing for six days now, following an alleged fight between two groups on the night of 14 October. The protesting students, demanding ‘proper action’ by JNU authorities, have lodged themselves at administrative block in the campus. On Wednesday night, Vice Chancellor M Jagdeesh Kumar and other top university officials were confined to their offices all through the night.

 JNU on the boil: As protests continue, V-C says all efforts are being made to find Najeeb Ahmed

JNU campus. Image courtesy: www.jnu.ac.in

Najeeb Ahmed, a student of MSc, has been missing since 11 am on 15 October after an alleged altercation with students belonging to the ABVP at the Mahi-Mandavi Hostel. The ideological battle between Left and Right had taken an ugly turn, with allegations of physical intimidation and kidnapping of the missing student being made by the protesting students.

JNU Vice Chancellor in a press conference on Thursday morning said that he was ‘illegally confined’ and called the ways of the protesting students as unreasonable and ‘unfortunate’.

Responding to the question that JNU administration is not taking the matter seriously, he said he had met the family members of Najeeb twice and “heard them very patiently though they were agitated as their son is missing”.

“We understand their pain and assured them that we are taking all necessary action but told them that they cannot decide who should be punished. There is a procedure to be followed," said the Vice Chancellor Jagdeesh Kumar.

He also added that JNUSU president Mohit Pandey went out to the press immediately after this meeting between the V-C and family of the missing student and told the media persons that “V-C has told the mother of the missing student that we will see you in a court, which is a blatant lie."

While stressing on the fact that an inquiry panel has been formed and JNU administration is in regular touch with police, he added that just on the basis of allegations and without conducting a proper inquiry, no action can be taken against any students.

“Our primary concern is to find Najeeb, secondly to make a proper inquiry into the incident and run the university effectively," said the Vice Chancellor.

On Wednesday night, JNU administration made a written appeal to the students while they were confined which read, “to all the students agitating over the issue of an event that took place at Mahi-Mondavi Hostel in the night of 14-15 October 2016 to immediately end their gherao of University officials in the Administration building where the Vice Chancellor and other senior officials have been unlawfully confined. Some of these officials are blood pressure and diabetic patients and are not able to take their medicines. It is already more than five hours of confinement. Their continued confinement may lead to deterioration of their health."

Talking about the action taken by the administration in the appeal, JNU authorities said, “The Administration has taken all necessary steps to trace Najeeb Ahmed. First, we have reported the case to the police and regularly monitoring the developments. Secondly, we have made an appeal to Najeeb Ahmed through the media and the university’s website to return and resume his academic activities without any fear. Thirdly, a fair inquiry has been initiated in the Chief Proctor’s office on the alleged violence during the election campaign for membership in the Mess Committee in the Hostel. The inquiry process will follow the due process and efforts will be made to expedite it and recommendations of the inquiry committee will be submitted to a provost committee for a final recommendation. Those found guilty will face disciplinary action as per the university rules. Press release will be issued on warden’s committee reports/complaints received related to this incident. We yet again appeal to the student community to end the gherao and return to their respective hostels."

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Updated Date: Oct 20, 2016 12:19:02 IST