Nine days after JNU student Najeeb Ahmad went missing, hundreds of students on Sunday formed a human chain in campus and held a public meeting outside the Vice-Chancellor’s residence. The students said they will submit a representation to the Lieutenant Governor, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and the National Commission for Minorities on Monday.
The students were joined by the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) during the human chain — which stretched roughly 2 km from the Administrative Block to the V-C’s residence — raising slogans such as “We want Najeeb” and “Nau dinon se Najeeb hai gayab, kaun hai iske zimedaar?”.
Also present at the meeting were Najeeb’s family members. His mother said, “Najeeb laado mujhe, mera bachcha laado mujhe (Bring back my child).”
While the students’ public meeting was being held at the gate of V-C M Jagadesh Kumar’s residence, he tweeted saying that the students were attempting another blockade — a charge denied by the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU). The union had earlier blockaded the administrative block for 20 hours, stopping senior officials from leaving the building.
In a series of tweets on the matter — 15 in about an hour — the JNU V-C said, “First these agitating students have tried to physically confine me in JNU Admin building. Now they are trying at my residence.”
Another tweet read, “Repeated appeals to cooperate and not agitate have fallen on deaf ears of student agitators. This is unfortunate.” He also said he would be meeting the Delhi Police Commissioner on Monday.
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However, JNUSU general secretary Satarupa Chakraborty responded: “This is not a blockade. This is a humble attempt to make you hear the students’ anguish.”
Addressing students at the public meeting, she said, “The V-C is tweeting saying that we are confining him again. This is completely untrue. We are holding this meeting outside your (V-C’s) residence so that you are forced to hear our voices. You are welcome to go in and out if you want.”
She added that the students would hold a march from Mandi House on Monday, following which the representations would be submitted.
While it supported the human chain, the JNUSU remained apprehensive that students had decided to hold the public meeting outside the gate of the V-C’s residence, with representatives trying to reason with students to move the public meeting closer to the university gate.
Earlier in the day, the administration had appealed to the JNUSU to “keep away from unlawful methods of protest”.
JNUSU president Mohit Pandey responded: “The administration finds our gherao unlawful, but it does not seem to have any problem with those who assaulted Najeeb roaming freely on the campus.”
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