THE DELHI Police on Sunday detained missing Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Najeeb Ahmad’s mother, his relatives and students outside the National Archives of India. Ahmad’s family and the students had gathered at the spot for a protest at India Gate, called by the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU). However, they were detained before they could begin and taken to different police stations. Police said while Najeeb’s mother, Fatima Nafees, was taken to Mayapuri police station, his cousin Sadaf Musharraf and other family members were taken to Mandir Marg police station. The protesting students were also detained and taken to South Avenue police station.
Nafees told The Indian Express, “It has been 24 days and they have not been able to find my son. Instead, they are detaining innocent students. If they had deployed such a huge force to find my son, he would have been found by now.”
JNUSU President Mohit Pandey, who was detained at South Avenue police station, alleged, “We were beaten up. They also accused us of hiding Najeeb. This shows the seriousness of the police.” However, police denied “manhandling” anyone and said Nafees was “duly attended to” by women constables.
Joint Commissioner of Police (spokesperson) Dependra Pathak, said, “JNUSU had given a call for demonstration to sit in dharna at India Gate. Delhi Police requested them in writing not to assemble near India Gate as prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC is in force. But various groups started assembling around India Gate despite the advisory.”
“No one was manhandled. A group of JNU students along with Najeeb’s mother, Mrs Fatima Nafees, assembled near the National Archives building. They were persuaded not to move towards India Gate. They didn’t agree and were adamant to move ahead. Mrs Fatima Nafees was duly attended to by women police officers, and is now being dropped to her place of stay,” he added.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Why have they detained Najeeb’s mother?” He also visited the Mayapuri police station in the evening, and resolved to sit there till Nafees — who was released by the police — reached her relative’s place at Zakir Nagar.