Demanding a conclusive response on the whereabouts of a missing student Najeeb Ahmed, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students staged protests outside the Administrative Block forcing the top brass of the university to stay put in their offices.
Apart from Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar, Rectors one and two and Registrar of the university were said to be confined inside the building. All student political parties, except Akhil Bhartiya Vidya Parishad (ABVP), took part in the blockade and vented out their anger at the university officials.
The besieged Vice-Chancellor appealed to the protesting students to let them out of the building and discuss the matter.
“We appeal to the students who have physically confined us to stop this and come for discussion. Let us discuss and resolve,” Kumar tweeted from inside the building while students remained gathered outside.
“Since the students did not let us go home in spite our appeal, we have no other option but be confined to the admin building,” Kumar also tweeted.
However, students have denied keeping anyone hostage and said that they were just protesting outside the building and anyone is allowed to come and go.
The JNU Students’ Union President Mohit Pandey denounced all claims of keeping officials as hostages and said, “We are only lying outside the building, if anyone wants he can go out over our bodies.”
The protests started outside the Administrative Block at 2 p.m. and grew more intense as the day wore off.
“By 3:30 p.m. employees started coming out of the building on some pretext or the other even when we had no such intention to lay a siege there. We are only demanding a proper response from the V-C about what action the university is taking in finding Najeeb,” said Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) President Bhupali Magare.
She said students from all political parties, including NSUI, AISA, SFI, DSU protested outside the building and there is no hostage situation.
However, an ABVP leader said that the officials were confined inside the building and the protesting students were on the verge of getting violent.
“They (protesters) have stooped very low that they are indulging in such cheap politics. They have kept all the entry points blocked of the building since 7 p.m. When the Proctor came to assuage them they got violent and made him run away,” Saurabh Sharma of ABVP said.
A student named Najeeb Ahmed had gone missing on the night of October 14 from the university hostel Mahi-Mandvi after a brawl with a few ABVP students. Since then a police complaint has been filed under IPC Section 365 and a Proctorial inquiry has been initiated by the University.
“This is not a small issue, but a part of a bigger conspiracy. No-one would go missing like this leaving even his phone behind. It’s been five days now but there’s no news of him,” said Rahul Sonpimple of BAPSA.
On October 18, V-C had also met the parents of Ahmed and had apprised them of all that they were doing to find him.