The Delhi High Court on Friday said it was “pained” over the failure to trace missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmad, and said it wanted his anguished mother to get her son back.
“If we imagine the worst, something has to be found out…We are pained that the missing person has not been found. We are only interested that he comes home and the mother gets her son back,” said Justice G S Sistani and Justice Vinod Goel.
The court was hearing a habeas corpus plea filed by Fatima Nafees, Ahmad’s mother, that her son be produced by police and the Delhi government before the court.
Ahmad (27) had gone missing from the hostel on October 15 after an alleged row with ABVP members. The organisation, however, has denied any involvement in his disappearance.
The Crime Branch of Delhi Police said it had taken various steps to locate Ahmad but had failed to find him. It said it will continue the search.
Meanwhile, JNU counsel Monika Arora told the court that “since day one, the university has been in regular contact with Delhi Police in obtaining updates and providing relevant information regarding the incident”.
“The university has carried out its own search operation in the hostel and campus… Security guards, along with police teams, have been looking for Ahmad in the adjacent forest areas of the JNU campus,” said Arora.
“All persons involved in the altercation, including Ahmad, were called by the warden and some disciplinary measures were taken after Najeeb admitted his mistake for initiating the brawl/altercation with his fellow students. The said issue was resolved in the presence of the JNUSU President and other college staff and students,” said the administration.
It also told the bench that the students involved in the scuffle have been identified and their immediate transfer from the hostel was recommended.
The counsel said the office of the chief proctor has acknowledged that there was a scuffle, and submitted the proctorial board report on the incident. “After Ahmad is found, the disciplinary action awarded to these persons will be again looked into,” said the court.
Advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Crime Branch, told the court that a scuffle took place on October 15 between Ahmad, Vikrant Kumar and other students. These students had come to Ahmad’s room to campaign for the election of the mess secretary. Ahmad allegedly slapped Vikrant and was beaten up, he said.
Mehra told the court that Ahmad went to Safdarjung Hospital, along with his roommate Quasim. From the statements recorded by witnesses and others, he did not suffer any injuries nor did he complain of any discomfort. Police also told the court that after reaching the hospital, Ahmad refused treatment and did not want to return to campus.
The matter will next be heard on December 14.
ABVP rejects punishment
The ABVP JNU unit termed the decision taken by the university to punish four of its activists for their “scuffle” with Ahmad a “Tughlaqi farman”, and said they would not accept the decision. In a memorandum submitted to the V-C, President of ABVP JNU unit Lalit Pandey said, “… If the administration insists on the implementation of the punishment to innocent students, then our organisation will be forced to begin a largescale movement (sic).”