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Delhi Police battled controversies, cracked high-profile cases in 2016

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>From arresting three JNU students on charges of sedition to booking of several AAP MLAs, 2016 saw Delhi Police battling a series of controversies even as it cracked a number of high-profile cases, nabbed wanted terrorists and busted an espionage ring involving a Pakistan High Commission staffer.Crime against women continued to rise and a number of brutal rape and assault cases kept the police on its toes though it managed to solve some of them in quick time.In June, a multi-city kidney racket involving doctors and touts was busted by Delhi Police while it arrested Khalistan Liberation Front chief Harminder Singh Mintoo who had escaped from Nabha jail. A number of persons suspected to have links with ISIS and al Qaeda were also caught in the course of the year.Women safety in the national capital continued to be a cause of concern with 1,981 cases of rape being reported till November 30 even as police launched a number of initiatives to contain crime against women.The brutal stabbing of a 21-year-old girl in Burari in broad daylight in September by a man who was allegedly stalking her for several months, and the videos of the shocking incident left people horrified. In February, the arrest of JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and two others on charges of sedition for allegedly organising an event against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, triggered a huge controversy with Opposition political parties slamming police for “working at the behest of ruling BJP”.The arrest of Kumar catapulted him to national fame and resulted in students protests across the country. The arrests also led to a nationwide debate on nationalism. Police had also come under severe criticism following attacks on journalists and students and teachers of JNU at the Patiala House court by some lawyers just before Kanhaiya was to be produced.In October, JNU student Najeeb Ahmed went missing, a day after he was allegedly involved in a brawl with some students including ABVP activists, leading to an agitation with students alleging police inaction in tracing him. The uneasy relationship between the AAP government and Delhi Police continued this year as police arrested nine AAP MLAs, drawing angry reaction from the party with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleging the law enforcing agency was acting at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The MLAs arrested are Dinesh Mohaniya, Prakash Karwal, Gulab Singh, Amanatullah Khan, Somnath Bharti, Rituraj Govind, Naresh Balyan, Sharad Chauhan and Jagdeep Singh and the charges ranged from rioting, outraging the modesty of woman, sexual harassment, criminal intimidation and assault.Sandeep Kumar, who was sacked as Cabinet Minister over an “objectionable” CD, was arrested on rape charges on the complaint of the woman who purportedly figured in the CD.The Anti-Corruption headed by Mukesh Kumar Meena, was also involved in a tussle with the AAP dispensation over registration of cases and questioning of AAP ministers and MLAs, including deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, Kapil Mishra, Gopal Rai, Amanatullah Khan.The brutal killing of a 23-year-old Congolese national by three youths following a brawl over hiring an auto-rickshaw in south Delhi in May made national headlines as the government rushed to assure the African community in India of their safety.Delhi Police’s Special Cell continued to clamp down on terror activities with the arrest of six people for suspected links with al Qaeda and ISIS.The year ended with them nabbing Mintoo, who had escaped from Nabha jail, from Nizamuddin railway station here.In October, the Crime Branch also busted an espionage ring with the arrest of four people who were allegedly sharing sensitive defence documents and deployment details of BSF along the Indo-Pak border with a Pakistan High Commission staffer.The staffer Mehmood Akhtar was later declared persona non-grata by the government and he had to leave the country.Following the demonetization of high-value currencies, police raided various areas across the city and recovered over Rs 17 crore in illegal cash.The year ended with a 20-year-old girl, who was on a job hunt, allegedly being raped in a car in South Delhi’s Moti Bagh area, a grim throwback to the horrific Delhi gangrape of a para-medic student in a moving bus four years ago.The alleged suicides by former Director General Corporate Affairs B K Bansal and his son in September, two months after his wife and daughter committed suicide, allegedly due to harassment by CBI, not only drew criticism for the premier investigating agency but also for police as it didn’t register any case despite the presence of purported suicide notes of Bansal and his son.The contentious case of Sunanda Pushkar didn’t see any headway for the second consecutive year even as police accepted that her death was not natural and questioned her husband Shashi Tharoor and Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar in February.Some of the other developments in the case included the formation of a medical board to study the FBI report, sending reminders to Canada to send details of deleted chats from Tharoor and Sunanda’s Blackberry phones, and Enforcement Directorate being requested to investigate the financial irregularities related to now-defunct Kochi IPL franchise.Some of the high-profile cases being investigated by Delhi Police included hacking of Twitter and email accounts of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and missing files concerning Ishrat Jahan encounter from MHA.The Crime Branch cracked down on the notorious red light G B Road in the heart of the city in August dismantling a vast human trafficking and prostitution racket, arresting the kingpin couple and their several accomplices.The suicide by an ex-serviceman close to Ministry of Defence building over the OROP issue kept police busy with many politicians raising the issue and slamming Modi government.As many as 3,400 personnel of paramilitary and Delhi Police were deployed at banks and ATMs across the national capital after serpentine queues led to law-and-order problem in some areas.In the new year, police envisages to modernise its operations and reduce burden on its more than 80,000 personnel by mulling over the possibility of introducing eight-hour shifts on the lines of its Mumbai counterpart.Delhi Police will also be setting up a separate control room for handling calls on phone number 112, which will be India’s equivalent of 911 of the US’ all-in-one emergency services, that will be rolled out from January 1 and the closure of 100 that is the go-to solution for people in distress.

JNU missing student: AMU students seek CBI probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AMU Students’ Union demanded a CBI inquiry on Wednesday into the mysterious disappearance of JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, who has remained untraced for 74 days. In a memorandum sent to President Pranab Mukherjee, the union alleged that instead of trying to trace Ahmed, police was harassing the family of the missing student and shielding criminals.Ahmed, an MSc Biotechnology student, went missing on October 15 after a scuffle, allegedly with ABVP affiliated students at his hostel inside the JNU campus. His mother Fatima Nafees and sister Sadaf were detained by police when they along with scores of agitating students tried to take out a protest march to India Gate in New Delhi on November 6. Fatima was virtually dragged into a bus by police along with other students.The memorandum said the same forces which had compelled Dalit student Rohit Vemula to commit suicide in Hyderabad earlier this year were behind Ahmed’s disappearance. AMU students led by their union president Faizul Hasan held a demonstration in Aligarh on Tuesday and threatened to intensify their stir if government did not fulfil their demand.Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) has also asserted that they will continue with their protest on the issue. Delhi Police has announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for information about Ahmed, while the Crime Branch is trying to trace him without any success so far.

8 students suspended from JNU for disrupting Academic Council meeting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The JNU administration has suspended eight students and withdrawn their hostel facilities for allegedly disrupting an Academic Council meeting, a move protested by the students’ union of the university. The meeting was chaired by VC Jagdesh Kumar on Monday. The university administration has also identified two former students who were allegedly involved in the incident.”Eight students who were identified to be involved in disruption of the meeting have been suspended and their hostel facilities have been withdrawn with immediate effect. A proctorial inquiry has also been instituted in the incident,” a JNU official said.The JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) “condemned” the move saying it will “resist” the suspension orders at all costs. “JNUSU condemns the suspension order against students. It will resist at all costs the suspension orders,” said the students’ union.Notices have been sent to the accused students by the proctor, the university official said, adding that action was taken as per preliminary findings and it will remain in effect till the inquiry is completed. A group of students was protesting outside the room where the Council meeting was underway. They allegedly “broke open the latch of the meeting room door” and came inside and “shouted at” the VC, the university said in a statement.The students belonged to Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA), Democratic Students’ Union (DSU), Students’ Front for Swaraj (SFS) and United OBC Forum. They were demanding that the Academic Council reconsider its decision to “adopt” a UGC gazette notification, dated May 2016, whereby interviews became the sole criterion of admissions to MPhil and PhD admissions. Earlier, JNU administration had suspended three students including Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and Mujeeb Gattoo for their involvement in a February 9 event on the campus where alleged anti-India slogans were raised.

JNU missing student case: Police concludes campus search, to quiz Nejeeb’s roommate

New Delhi: Delhi Police on Tuesday concluded its massive search in JNU campus without any success and will be conducting a lie-detector test on Najeeb Ahmed’s roommate Mohd Qasim on Wednesday as it stepped up efforts to get clues regarding the mysterious disappearance of the student since 15 October.

Police have so far served notices to six people, including family members of Najeeb as well as the students with whom he was allegedly involved in a brawl at his hostel a night before he vanished, said a senior police officer.

Representational image. CNN-News18

Representational image. CNN-News18

The police, represented by senior standing counsel for Delhi government Rahul Mehra, had told Delhi High Court that four students, who are suspected of beating up Najeeb, would be put to lie-detector tests to get leads or clues about his disappearance and whereabouts.

“We have served notices to six people and after their consent, we will be carrying out the tests. Qasim gave his consent and he will be put to a lie-detector test tomorrow (Wednesday),” said the officer.

Many of the students have gone to their homes for vacations, which is hindering investigation, he said. Meanwhile, more than 600 Delhi Police personnel assisted by sniffer dogs concluded their search of the sprawling JNU campus but could not find any clues of the missing student.

Police team began its search around 9 AM today under the supervision of DCP (Crime Branch) G Ram Gopal Naik and finished by 3 PM. The search had begun yesterday and almost 60-70 percent of the campus was covered while the remaining campus was scanned on Tuesday.

All agencies of Delhi Police including Special Cell, Special Branch and the local police, pooling more than 600 personnel scanned the interiors and residential areas, the official said.

Najeeb has been missing since October 15 after an alleged scuffle at his hostel with ABVP students on the night of 14 October. A reward of Rs 10 lakh has been announced by Delhi Police on any information about Najeeb.

The massive search was mounted following a Delhi High Court order last week directing the police to scan the entire JNU campus including hostels, classrooms as well as rooftops of the buildings with help of sniffer dogs.

After scanning the campus, the police is likely to ask JNU administration to beef up its security.

“We have observed that the forest area is quite dense and students go there even late in the night. We will request JNU authorities to increase security inside the campus for the safety of students,” said an officer.

First Published On : Dec 20, 2016 21:54 IST

Delhi police opposes perjury proceedings against Kanhaiya Kumar, JNU professor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>City police opposed in Delhi High Court a plea seeking initiation of perjury proceedings against former JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar and a JNU professor on Monday, saying there was no material to substantiate the allegation that they had filed false affidavits along with the bail plea of the student leader in a sedition case.Justice SP Garg was informed by the investigating officer (IO) that the court on August 11 had already dismissed pleas to cancel interim bail of Kanhaiya in the sedition case on the ground that nothing was shown that the student leader had made any anti-national speech after his release. “Perusal of petition, under reply, lacks materials and the contents/averments made therein are vehemently denied and, in view of the order dated August 11, 2016 of this court, the petition deserves to dismissed,” the affidavit filed by the Delhi Police said.The reply of the police came in the backdrop of a court notice issued to it on a plea claiming that a JNU professor had “deliberately” filed a false affidavit in the high court along with the bail petition of Kanhaiya in the case. The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on February 23 next year.In his plea, petitioner Prashant Kumar Umrao has contended that the professor had wrongly vouched on oath that Kanhaiya was not involved in any “anti-national activity” and that he was a man of proper conduct. Advocate RP Luthra, appearing for the petitioner, had said the professor should have been aware that the student leader was fined for inappropriate conduct on campus a year ago and there was nothing to show that he was not involved in any anti-national sloganeering. On March 2, Kanhaiya was granted six month interim bail by the high court. He was later granted regular bail by the trial court in connection with the case relating to an event inside JNU campus on February 9 in which anti-India slogans were allegedly raised.While the court at first had felt that since the student leader had been granted bail nothing remained in the petition seeking perjury proceedings, the petitioner however convinced the court that it had nothing to do with him being released on regular bail. Kanhaiya was arrested on February 12 this year on charges of alleged sedition. Two other students, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, were later arrested in connection with the case and they were granted interim bail.A trial court had on August 26 granted regular bail to the three accused.

JNU missing student: Sniffer dogs enter campus to help trace Najeeb

Delhi High Court had last week directed Delhi police to “scan” the entire campus, including hostels, classrooms and rooftops, of the varsity using sniffer dogs. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Police teams scanned the JNU campus on Monday with sniffer dogs to search for clues that could help them trace student Najeeb Ahmed, who has been missing for over two months now, police said.The Crime Branch team that is probing the case after it was transferred to them reached the campus this morning with sniffer dogs and the search is currently underway, police said. Concerned over disappearance of the JNU student, Delhi High Court had last week directed police to “scan” the entire campus, including hostels, classrooms and rooftops, of the varsity by using sniffer dogs.The directions had come on a Habeas Corpus plea by Najeeb’s mother, Fatima Nafees, who has moved court to trace her son. Najeeb went missing on October 15 following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with ABVP members the night before. The case was transferred from South District Police to Crime Branch last month.

Najeeb Ahmed missing case: JNUSU promises full cooperation to police search in campus

File image of the JNU campus. JNU websiteFile image of the JNU campus. JNU website

File image of the JNU campus. JNU website

New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru Students Union (JNUSU) on Thursday promised “full cooperation” to police search on the campus to trace MSc student Najeeb Ahmed who went missing two months back after a scuffle allegedly with ABVP affiliated students.

“JNUSU will extend its full cooperation in finding Najeeb. Delhi High Court’s direction to the Delhi police to search the university campus accommodation, ad-block, and the green areas using sniffer dogs, has long been a demand of JNUSU,” president of the students union Mohit Pandey said in a statement.

The Delhi High Court today directed the police to “scan” the entire campus, including hostels, classrooms and rooftops, of the varsity by using sniffer dogs. The court also asked Delhi Police to take all necessary steps without further loss of time to trace Najeeb, saying there has been delay in recording statements of some students suspected of thrashing him a day before his disappearance. Pandey said that, the Delhi police should have done this right in the beginning when they could not find Najeeb.

“JNUSU has been pointing out this lapse on the part of Delhi police even in its submission to the petition in the Court. We appeal to everyone to please cooperate with the High Court directions and in our struggle to find Najeeb” he said. Najeeb disappeared after scuffle with alleged ABVP students at his hostel.

First Published On : Dec 15, 2016 09:11 IST

JNU missing student case: Najeeb Ahmad’s disappearance raises questions on Delhi police’s ability

‘Missing’ is writ large at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus. A 27-year-old student Najeeb Ahmad has been missing for almost two months now, after an alleged scuffle with some other students. Mother, sister, friends and fellow students of Najeeb have been protesting at the JNU campus, at Jantar Mantar, Mandi House and anywhere they can.

In last two months, a number of posters of Najeeb has increased inside JNU campus and around Delhi and so has the reward to find him.

As the days passed, following Najeeb’s disappearance, a spree of allegations and counter-allegations was made by the Left and the Right in JNU campus against each other, following which, the police swung into action. Police teams were dispatched to Bihar and other places and news of Najeeb being spotted in Aligarh surfaced.

But among all this what was most intriguing was the manner in which Najeeb disappeared, like smoke.

Representational image. CNN News 18Representational image. CNN News 18

Representational image. CNN News 18

Now a press release by JNU administration (issued on 8 December) has tried to put the record straight in the case: Of the alleged scuffle between the two groups in Mahi‐Mandovi hostel on 14 October after which Najeeb disappeared without informing anyone. Just two days to go and it will be a full two months since he disappeared.

The 8 December press release issued by the JNU administration is conclusive in its judgement about the incident. In an attempt to put the record straight, the JNU administration has shunned the logic. It reads, “The Office of the Chief Proctor has submitted its Proctorial Enquiry Report on the incident of Mahi‐Mandovi Hostel. The report has identified the students involved in the reported scuffle, and has recommended their immediate transfer from their present hostel. It has also recommended that a strong warning should be issued to these students against repeating such scuffle in future.”

It adds, “The Vice‐chancellor has approved the report and has suggested that after Najeeb Ahmed is found, the disciplinary action awarded by the Warden’s Committee for vacating hostel premises by Mr. Ahmed may be revisited.”

And it concludes, “The JNU Administration appeals to Mr. Najeeb Ahmed, M.Sc. student of Biotechnology, to return to university and resume academic pursuits without apprehensions.”

The Delhi High Court on 28 November, while listening the plea on Najeeb’s disappearance asked the Delhi police to “cut across all political barriers” to find Najeeb and said that there could be “something more” to his disappearance as no one can just vanish from the heart of the national capital.

The court further stated, “This is the heart of India, the national capital. No one can just disappear from here. It creates a sense of insecurity in people. If he disappeared, then there is something more to that. All angles have to be explored. Forty five days is a long period for someone to be underground.”

While the court’s observation was reflective of genuine concern, the straightness of the press statement issued by JNU administration on 8 December has twisted all the logic.

Consider this: In plain term, it states that those allegedly involved in the scuffle have been identified. And like the intimidating bullies we all face in schools, they were punished by changing their seats (read hostel).

Also, the JNU administration through its appeal to Najeeb to come back has decided and made it clear that he has gone missing on his own and steers clear of any foul play.

In this absurd play where a man disappears without any trace, there are many questions that remain unanswered.

A press note titled Summary & update of the Events ‐Mahi‐Mandovi Hostel issued by JNU, states that according to the warden’s report, the incident took place during the election campaign for members of the hostel committee. A student, Vikrant Kumar, went to canvass and when he knocked at the door of Najeeb Ahmed was slapped without any provocation in the presence of in presence of two other students. The warden has relied on the version of two people who accompanied Vikrant for canvassing. The warden’s report does not mention the testimony of any neutral eyewitness.

The second big question is that how JNU’s proctorial inquiry has assumed that Najeeb has been hiding or gone missing on his own, hence making an appeal to him to return.

The third big question that raises a major concern is that how can a student be in hiding for so long. How come the entire police administration (receiving direct direction from the home minister of the country) is unable to trace a 27-year-old student?

There is rising concern for Najeeb, that is now cutting across party and ideological lines. ABVP member Saurabh Sharma and former Joint Secretary of JNUSU too calls for looking “beyond narrow interests and making all efforts should be made towards finding Najeeb”.

“Almost two months have passed since a bizarre incident of slapping followed by Najeeb’s disappearance took place in JNU. SIT and then Crime Branch of Delhi Police have tried hard to find out Najeeb’s whereabouts, but all in vain. Given the situation that a student has disappeared right from the heart of the capital, questions must be raised about the efficacy of Delhi Police. A police force that has successfully busted organised crimes of international order in the past seems too helpless in this case. Is it really that tough to trace a student or is it a deliberate attempt on the part of Delhi Police to take it too lightly? The nature of politicking that has occurred in the periphery of the event also speaks volumes regarding the special nature of Najeeb’s disappearance,” says Sharma.

He adds, “Having said that, one must not forget that all that matters is a human life, the complexity of which is hard to fathom. Medical reports suggest that Najeeb was under depression and was receiving proper treatment. Thus, there is all possibility that he might have escaped for psychological reasons. If it’s so, still the police should have found him out by now. Hence, one must focus on the fact that between politics and concerns of individual life, Najeeb’s life and career is at stake. Let’s look beyond our narrow interests and channelise all efforts toward finding out Najeeb.”

As rightly pointed out by Sharma the inability of the Delhi police in tracing Najeeb raises serious questions on its ability and intent. The same press note mentioned above states that, “On 17th November 2016, the administration came to know about the police (Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime) investigation stating that they have traced the driver of the auto‐rickshaw who Ahmed hired on October 15 from Jawaharlal Nehru University to reach the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia, as reported in the newspapers.”

A month has now passed since police got this input but no breakthrough has been made in the case. Given the fact that police has been slammed by the court for its inability to find Najeeb, it is only in the former’s interest to find him. And its inability to find a 27-year-old student can be due to two reasons: Because of complete ineptness of police that cannot trace a student and a probability of some unfortunate incident that had struck Najeeb.

While the former can only be a matter of embarrassment for police, the possibility of the latter coming true can seriously change the narrative of the student politics in India’s one of the best universities.

First Published On : Dec 12, 2016 17:58 IST

Najeeb disappearance: Has Modi govt catapulted AVBP into a parallel power centre in Indian universities?

The Delhi High Court has rightly pulled up the police for failing to trace Najeeb Ahmed, a student of the Jawaharlal Nehru University who has been missing since October.

“It is over 50 days. Still you (police) do not know about his whereabouts. How can somebody vanish suddenly and police have no clue about it? Even if we think of the worst, something has to be found out. We are pained that the missing person has not been traced till date,” a bench consisting of justices GS Sistani and Vinod Goel said.

Campus tensions. Image courtesy News18Campus tensions. Image courtesy News18

Campus tensions. Image courtesy News18

Next week will mark two months since Najeeb disappeared from the JNU campus. Till date, the investigating agencies have failed to come up with any concrete information — reassuring or otherwise — about the student’s whereabouts. We don’t know what happened to Najeeb after he went missing following a physical scuffle with students of the BJP–backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

The police’s lack of interest in fast–tracking the case is all the more glaring when considered in light of their swift reaction in acting against Najeeb’s family and the concerned student community. It can be argued that the police have been far more zealous in restraining Najeeb’s mother and family, who were protesting alongside the students, than in tracing the disappeared person.

Who can forget the disturbing media image last month of a distraught Fatima Nafees (Najeeb’s mother,) being dragged by the police outside the National Archives of India in Delhi while protesting alongside the JNU community?

“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,” said a report in The Indian Express.

If the police have been dragging their feet, so have the JNU authorities. If Najeeb’s family — particularly his mother — and campus Left student organisations did not refuse to back off, neither university authorities nor the police would have done even the bare minimum that they have so far. Even these bare minimum interventions on the part of JNU authorities have been far too little, and perhaps already, too late.

Earlier this week — nearly two months after Najeeb went missing — the university administration finally sat up.

They “identified” four ABVP activists as having been involved in a “scuffle” with Najeeb. In a lenient punishment, the administration recommended the students’ “immediate transfer” from their hostels alongside a “strong warning” not to engage in such “scuffles” in future.

The lackadaisical response of the police and university authorities to Najeeb’s disappearance represents a microcosm of the state of affairs in India. The systems in place to supposedly guarantee citizens’ safety and security are willfully manipulated to serve the interests of politicians and those in power.

Given the larger context of the politicisation of the police, and the immediate memory of the bitterness between JNU students and Central government, the callousness in Najeeb’s case, does not really come as a surprise. Nor is it particularly shocking that university authorities – not just in JNU but across India’s higher educational institutions – are treating the ABVP with kid gloves. This student organisation, as everyone can plainly see, operates more like an ideological and political arm of the BJP and less like an organisation concerned with issues on campus plaguing the student community.

First Published On : Dec 10, 2016 16:55 IST

Missing JNU student: Delhi HC slams cops for failure to trace him

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court slammed the police on Friday for remaining clueless about missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, who has remained untraced for 55 days, asking how can a man just “vanish suddenly”.Maintaining that it was concerned with the recovery of the boy whose mother has been running from pillar to post to be united with her son, the Court said a situation, in which a missing person has not been traced for over 50 days, would create a sense of insecurity among the people. “It is over 50 days. Still you (police) do not know about his whereabouts. How can somebody vanish suddenly and police has no clue about it? Even if we think of the worst, something has to be found out. We are pained that the missing person has not been traced till date,” a bench of Justices GS Sistani and Vinod Goel said.Najeeb went missing from JNU’s Mahi-Mandvi hostel on October 15 allegedly after an on-campus scuffle between him and some members of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The ABVP has denied involvement in his disappearance. The bench said, “We are not concerned with the scuffle. We only want that the boy is recovered and he returns to his house. We are concerned that the mother should get her child.”The court’s oral observation came after the police and the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) informed it that Najeeb has remained untraceable till date and they were making all efforts to locate him. The varsity and the police were responding to the habeus corpus plea filed by Najeeb’s 45-year old mother Fatima Nafees who was also present in the court today. She has sought directions to the authorities to trace her 27-year-old son who was pursuing MSc in Biotechnology from JNU.During the brief hearing, senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra, appearing for the police, told the bench that the Crime Branch was exploring all angles to trace Najeeb and even issued advertisements. “We are diligent, We will do whatever is to be done at our level,” Mehra said.

Najeeb Ahmed’s kin says JNU ‘shielding’ assaulters

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Almost two months after the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Najeeb Ahmed went missing following an altercation with some ABVP members, the varsity administration on Thursday said the proctorial inquiry report has identified the students involved in the scuffle. The report also recommended that strong warning be issued against the students involved, even as Najeeb’s family and protesting students called it yet another attempt to “shield” the attackers.A statement issued by the varsity administration read: “The Office of the Chief Proctor has submitted its Proctorial Inquiry Report on the incident of Mahi-Mandavi Hostel. The report has identified the students involved in the reported scuffle, and has recommended their immediate transfer from their present hostel. It has also recommended that a strong warning be issued to these students against repeating such scuffles in the future.”It further stated: “The Vice-Chancellor has approved the report and has suggested that after Najeeb is found, the disciplinary action awarded by the Warden’s Committee for vacating the hostel premises may be revisited,” adding that the administration appeals to Najeeb to return to the campus without any “apprehension”.“Is this what they call justice? They are trying to portray that Najeeb disappeared voluntarily. But we were expecting something like this only from them. We are not at all surprised by the statement they have issued,” said Najeeb’s sister Sadaf Musharraf.The varsity students further said that this was the “mildest” punishment recommended for someone who nearly “lynched” a person. “Even the Delhi High Court has recognised the serious facts around the case. Still, the JNU administration is taking such a lenient view to shield the ABVP members,” said JNU Students’ Union President Mohit Pandey.He further said the proctorial inquiry has raised several questions regarding the intentions of the varsity administration. “Why is the report narrating the entire incident still not public?” Pandey asked, adding that they were sure that the Vice-Chancellor has tried to change the report to shield the ABVP members.Najeeb Ahmed, 27, a resident of Badaun district in Uttar Pradesh and a first-year MSc student at JNU, has been missing since October 15 after a scuffle with some ABVP members the night before. The case has been transferred to the Crime Branch of Delhi Police.

JNU missing student: Students involved in scuffle with Najeeb identified

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Students involved in the scuffle at Mahi-Mandvi hostel of JNU in October, that allegedly led to the mysterious disappearance of MSc student Najeeb Ahmad, have been identified and their immediate transfer from the hostel recommended. The office of the Chief Proctor has submitted its Proctorial Board report on the incident at the hostel, according to a statement from the office of Dean of Students at JNU.Sources said four students were identified by the university in connection with the scuffle. Najeeb had gone missing on October 15 following the scuffle allegedly with ABVP members the night before. “The report has identified the students involved in the reported scuffle, and has recommended their immediate transfer from their present hostel. It has also recommended that a strong warning should be issued to these students against repeating such scuffle in future,” the statement read.It also noted that the Vice-chancellor has approved the report and has suggested that after Ahmad is found, the disciplinary action awarded by the Warden’s Committee for vacating hostel premises by him may be “revisited”. The JNU administration has repeated its appeal to Ahmad, a MSc Biotechnology student, to return to university and resume academic pursuits without apprehensions.Delhi Police is trying to trace Ahmad but it has not been able to make any breakthrough even though a reward of Rs 10 lakh was announced by it for any information about him. The case was initially handled by a special investigation team of south Delhi Police but later the case was handed over to the force’s Crime Branch.The crime branch team was able to trace Ahmad’s movement on October 15 after they had found the auto driver who claimed to have dropped the student to Jamia Millia Islamia that day. The mysterious disappearance of Ahmad and failure of police to trace him led to protests by JNU students and various political outfits.The mother and sister of the missing student also participated in these protests with several political leaders including Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal slamming police for not being able to trace him.

Narendra Modi is better than Donald Trump, says JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar

Mumbai: JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “better” than US President-elect Donald Trump.

Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI file imageKanhaiya Kumar. PTI file image

Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI file image

Kumar was speaking at a panel discussion titled ‘From Bihar to Tihar‘ at Times LitFest. “Despite several differences (he may have with Narendra Modi), Modi is better than Trump. There has been a rise in authoritative sentiment across the world and if you see the kind of language that was used in (US) presidential election, the comments made against migrants and women were unprecedented,” said Kumar, who earlier this year faced a sedition case over “anti-national” slogans at Jawaharlal Nehru
University.

The student leader quoted the iconic African American leader Martin Luther King, saying, “Bad people are shouting not because they are more powerful but because the good people are quiet.”

Speaking about Najeeb Ahmed, the JNU student who has been missing for the past several weeks, Kumar said, “The government is actually doing nothing but throwing some issues before us. It is happening because there is no powerful opposition that would keep a check on this government. The issues of Dadri (lynching by cow-vigilantes), JNU’s anti-national slogans and Najeeb’s missing are being diverted. In Dadri, the committee is focusing on whether it was beef or not, in Rohith Vemula case, the committee was set up to decide his caste, in JNU’s anti-national slogan case, the committee was set up to find out whether footage was doctored or not. There are many other similar cases,” he said.

“Why was no chargesheet filed in the JNU anti-national slogans case even after nine months if the government was serious?” Kumar asked.

First Published On : Dec 2, 2016 22:55 IST

PM Modi better than Donald Trump: Kanhaiya Kumar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “better” than the US President-elect Donald Trump. Kumar was speaking at a panel discussion on ‘From Bihar to Tihar’ at Times LitFest here.”Despite several differences (he may have with Narendra Modi), Modi is better than Trump. There has been a rise in authoritative sentiment across the world and if you see the kind of language that was used in (US) presidential election, the comments made against migrants and women were unprecedented,” said Kumar, who earlier this year faced a sedition case over ‘anti-national’ slogans at Jawaharlal Nehru University.The student leader quoted the iconic African American leader Martin Luther King, saying “bad people are shouting not because they are more powerful but because the good people are quiet.”Speaking about Najeeb Ahmed, JNU student who has been missing for the past several weeks, Kumar said, “Government is actually doing nothing but throwing some issues before us. It is happening because there is no powerful opposition that would keep a check on this government. The issues of Dadri (lynching by cow-vigilantes), JNU’s anti-national slogans and Najeeb’s missing are being diverted.”In Dadri case, the committee is focusing on whether it was beef or not, in Rohith Vemula case the committee was set up to decide his caste, in JNU’s anti-national slogan case the committee was set up to find out whether footage was doctored or not and there are many other similar cases,” he said. Why no charge sheet was filed in the JNU anti-national slogans case even after nine months if the government was serious, Kumar asked.

JNU missing student case: Something more to Najeeb’s disappearance, HC tells Delhi police

New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Monday sternly asked the city police to “cut across all political barriers” and find missing Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Najeeb Ahmed, saying there could be “something more” to his disappearance as no one can just vanish from the heart of the national capital.

Expressing concern over the whereabouts of the student who has remained untraceable for 45 days now, the court also raised several questions, including why the alleged on-campus scuffle between Najeeb and some members of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the injuries sustained by Najeeb was not mentioned in the Delhi police’s status report.

A bench of justices GS Sistani and Vinod Goel said if a person disappears from the national capital and remains untraceable, then it would create a “sense of insecurity” in the people here and asked the police to explore all angles.

“This is the heart of India, the national capital. No one can just disappear from here. It creates a sense of insecurity in people. If he disappeared, then there is something more to that. All angles have to be explored. Forty five days is a long period for someone to be underground,” it said to the police which is of the view that Najeeb was “not forcefully abducted”.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

After perusing the status report of Delhi police, the court asked why was Najeeb taken to the Safdarjung hospital in an ambulance if he had no apparent or visible injuries, as this detail was missing from the police report.

It also asked why the report does not say anything about the alleged on-campus scuffle between Najeeb and some members allegedly of ABVP who are alleged to have brutally beaten him up and only mentions that the missing student had slapped one of them.

The judge questioned why the police waited till 11 November to interrogate those persons with whom Najeeb allegedly had an altercation on the night of 14-15 October, prior to his disappearance on 15 October and against whom a criminal complaint was lodged on 17 October .

“Cut across all political barriers. Get him back. You will get your answers at either of the two places, Jamia or JNU. No need to go to Aligarh or any other place so far,” the bench told the police, which said that an auto driver has claimed to have dropped off Najeeb at the Jamia Milia Islamia University.

The court was hearing a habeus corpus plea filed by the student’s mother 45-year old Fatima Nafees, who was in court on Monday and was in tears during the hearing. She has sought directions to the authorities to trace her 27-year-old son who was pursuing MSc in Biotechnology from JNU.

During the hearing, the bench said it did not want to tell the police what to do but it can easily “shadow” some of the persons involved in the matter to know what was going on and to “fearlessly” tell the court what it has found out.

The court was also not pleased with the “attitude” of the JNU Vice Chancellor for not assigning anyone in the matter despite being served a copy of the petition. “He does not think it is an important matter? This is not a good attitude,” it said and directed JNU to file a response to the woman’s plea by the next date of hearing.

The court also asked the varsity to reconsider Najeeb’s expulsion from the hostel, if not already done so, and to advertise in newspapers that they will reconsider his punishment once he returns. It asked Najeeb’s mother to issue a statement asking him to return and directed the management and students of JNU to assist and cooperate with the police to trace him.

During arguments, the police said its crime branch was exploring all angles, including that Najeeb’s disappearance had something to do with his “illness of mental depression” for which he was under medication since 2012. It was also of the view that he was hiding as he was probably ashamed of being expelled from the hostel.

Senior advocate Colin Gonzalves, appearing for Fatima, argued that he was “disappointed” by the manner of probe as the agency was not exploring the possibility of Najeeb being abducted as he was allegedly threatened by the ABVP members.

The court said someone getting beaten up in a college hostel was “not unusual”, but no one disappears over it. It also took note of the steps taken by the police, like uploading his details to the Zonal Integrated Police network, putting up notices across the city and issuing advertisements in newspapers, apart from enhancing the reward from Rs 50,000 to Rs five lakh for information leading to his recovery.

Najeeb’s mother, in her petition filed through advocate Ali Qambar Zaidi, sought the setting up of a “court appointed Special Investigation Team of impartial officers of proven integrity from outside the state of Delhi” to take over the entire investigation from crime branch of Delhi police.

She has also alleged that her son was beaten up by members of ABVP “which is affiliated to the RSS and therefore, closely connected with the BJP which is the party in power at the Centre and since the Delhi police comes under the control of the central government, it is not likely that any progress will be made in the investigation”.

First Published On : Nov 28, 2016 19:39 IST

Najeeb Ahmad missing case: Show cause notices to 20 JNU students including Kanhaiya

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>JNU administration has issued show cause notices to 20 students including sedition accused Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid, seeking explanation for the alleged “illegal confinement” of Vice Chancellor and other officials in the varsity building.A group of agitating students had confined the VC and other senior officials in the administrative building for over 20 hours last month alleging inaction on the administration’s part in locating missing student Najeeb Ahmad. Najeeb (27), a student of School of Biotechnology and a native of Badaun in Uttar Pradesh, went missing on October 15 following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with the members of ABVP, the night before. “Twenty students including Kanhaiya and Umar have been sent notices over the illegal confinement and have been asked to depose before the Proctorial committee which is probing the issue after a complaint was received from the university’s Chief Security Officer,” a senior varsity official said. JNU students and teachers have been agitating against the university administration and Delhi Police for their failure to locate the missing student. On the directive of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma, a SIT was formed last month to trace the missing student The SIT failed to get any actionable clues in the matter.The case was later transferred to Delhi Police’s Crime Branch. The university panel probing the incident of October 14 following which Najeeb went missing had found ABVP members guilty of assaulting him. However, no disciplinary action has been taken yet.

Government and cops get notice after Najeeb Ahmed’s mother moves HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>More than a month after Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Najeeb Ahmed went missing under mysterious circumstances, his mother Fatima Nafees on Friday filed a Habeas Corpus petition in the High Court, expressing dissatisfaction over the police investigation in the case.The matter was listed before the Division Bench comprising Justices G S Sistani and Sunita Gupta, which issued notices to the Delhi government and the police, asking them to come up with explanations. The Bench also directed the Delhi Police to come up with their investigation report within three days.Najeeb Ahmed, a resident of Badaun district in Uttar Pradesh and a first-year MSc student at JNU, has been missing since October 15 following an altercation with some ABVP members on the night before at the Mahi Mandavi hostel.In her petition, Nafees expressed dissatisfaction with the way the Delhi Police have been conducting the investigation and accused the varsity administration of “shielding the persons responsible for her son’s disappearance”.The case was recently transferred to the Crime Branch of Delhi Police from the special Investigation Team formed by the Commissioner of Police, Alok Kumar Verma.Last week, the Crime Branch traced the initial movement of Najeeb, stating that he had taken an auto-rickshaw from outside JNU for the Jamia Millia University after calling his mother.The revelation came after the sleuths managed to trace the auto driver who ferried Najeeb. The driver even took the police to the spot where he dropped the student. Before shifting to Mahi Mandavi hostel in JNU campus, Ahmad was living with his relatives in Jamia.Earlier, the Delhi Police had raised the reward from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh for anyone providing information that could help locate Najeeb.The issue had almost paralysed the functioning of the varsity with agitating JNU Students Union keeping Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar and other university officials under siege for over 20 hours.Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had also pulled up the force and asked the CP Verma to make all efforts to trace the missing student.

JNU missing student case: Delhi HC directs police to file status report within three days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The disappearance of JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, whose whereabouts are not known since October 15, reached the Delhi High Court on Friday where his mother sought directions to the police and the government to produce him before the court.27-year-old Ahmed, a student of School of Biotechnology at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and a native of Badaun in Uttar Pradesh, went missing on October 15 following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with members of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) the night before.The petition came up before a bench of justices GS Sistani and Vinod Goel which issued notice to the Delhi government and the police asking them to explain their stand on the plea by the student’s mother, Fatima Nafees. The bench also directed Delhi Police to file a status report within three days.
ALSO READ Find Najeeb in a day or I’m going to UP cops: Mother to Delhi PoliceNajeeb’s mother, in her petition filed through advocate Ali Qambar Zaidi, sought the setting up of a “court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) of impartial officers of proven integrity from outside the state of Delhi” to take over the entire investigation from Crime Branch of Delhi Police.Earlier, an SIT of Delhi Police was set up to trace the missing student on instructions of Home Minister Rajnath Singh. While the case was being investigated by the SIT, teams were sent to Darbhanga in Bihar and Nepal after they got leads hinting that Najeeb might be there, but they failed to find him. Thereafter, the case was transferred to the police’s Crime Branch for a “fresh look” into it.The police has increased the reward for information about the student from the initial amount of Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh, but no productive leads have yet been found. In her plea, 45-year-old Fatima has alleged that her son was beaten up by members of ABVP “which is affiliated to the RSS and therefore, closely connected with the BJP which is the party in power at the Centre and since the Delhi Police comes under the control of the Central Government, it is not likely that any progress will be made in the investigation”.She has sought criminal prosecution against those persons who were involved in the alleged assault of her son on the basis of the records of the investigation carried out so far.

JNU missing student case: Police stop protest march by kin and students to Parliament

New Delhi: JNU students and family members of missing student Najeeb Ahmed on Wednesday tried to march to Parliament from Mandi House demanding justice but were stopped mid-way by the police.

Representational image. News18

Representational image. News18

Najeeb, 27, a student of School of Biotechnology and a native of Badaun, went missing on 15 October following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with the members of ABVP, the night before.

Alleging that her son has been held captive, Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees said she has been “assured” of support by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in finding her son.

“Akhilesh ji has assured me of all help. He said the force (UP Police) would be sent to look for my son. He said Najeeb is child of his state. Shame on Delhi Police that police from UP is coming to find my son,” she said at the protest march.

JNU students union president Mohit Pandey said, “you (police) have seen him in Aligarh and Dharbhanga but you are still unable to find him. It has been thirty-eight days since he is missing and yet he is untraceable”.

Former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar also joined students in the protest rally.

Kumar raised slogans demanding justice for Ahmad, however, he did not address students.

Umar Khalid, who was charged with sedition along with Kanhaiya earlier this year, questioned claims by police of Ahmad being spotted in some cities.

He alleged police was trying to build a narrative around Ahmad.

“For last 10-15 days police is giving statements in media. Police never makes anything public till investigation is final because that may hamper investigation.

“Why Darbhaga and why AMU? It is a pattern which they are following. Because it fits the narrative. If you look at trolls they keep saying Najeeb has joined terrorists,” he said.

JNU students and teachers have been agitating against the university administration and Delhi Police for their failure to locate the missing student.

The protesting students had even confined the Vice Chancellor and other senior officials in the administrative building for over 20 hours.

Last month, an SIT was formed to trace the missing student on the directive of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma.

The SIT failed to get any actionable clues in the matter. The case was later transferred to Delhi Police’s Crime Branch.

First Published On : Nov 24, 2016 10:38 IST

JNU missing student row: Students Islamic Organisation seeks action against Najeeb Ahmed’s assaulters

New Delhi: Members of the Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) of India held a protest march on Monday demanding action against those who assaulted Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) scholar Najeeb Ahmed prior to his disappearance in October.

The protesters, who included students from JNU, Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), among others, were accompanied by Ahmed’s mother Fateema Nafees.

Representational image. Image courtesy: News18

Representational image. Image courtesy: News18

“We want JNU authorities to punish the three students — Vikrant, Sunil and Ankit — for assaulting Ahmed, a fact which has been acknowledged in the Proctorial inquiry as well,” Sadat Hussain, an SIO member from JNU told IANS.

The SIO is the students’ wing of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.

“We also condemn the police for still not being able to find Ahmed, who is missing for 36 days now,” Hussain added.

Najeeb Ahmed, a first-year MSc student at the School of Biotechnology in JNU, reportedly went missing after allegedly being beaten up by some students comprising ABVP members, who had gone campaigning to his room for hostel elections on the intervening night of 14-15 October.

A Proctorial Inquiry formed to identify the assailants had found at least one student named Vikrant to be guilty of assaulting Ahmed. He was served a showcause notice on 7 November and asked to reply within seven days.

Another student told IANS that apart from seeking justice for Najeeb, this protest is also against the changing face of the nation under the current dispensation.

“This protest is against fascist forces, against Una lynching and fake Bhopal encounter,” he said.

The protesters marched from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar where Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, along with several other political leaders and members of civil society, was scheduled to address them.

First Published On : Nov 21, 2016 18:39 IST

Missing JNU row: Jamia CCTV footage of the day of Najeeb’s disappearance erased

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CCTV footage sought by Delhi Police from the Jamia authorities in connection with the disappearance of JNU student Najeeb Ahmed has been erased as the authorities store a day’s clips for one month, prompting the probe team to seek help from Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) to retrieve the images.The Jamia Millia Islamia administration, after initial reluctance, has shared CCTV footage with the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch which is probing the disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed, but has informed it that the footage of the period before October 18 was not available.The probe team has traced an auto-rickshaw driver who told them that he had dropped Najeeb at Jamia Millia Islamia on October 15.”We contacted the Jamia authorities and they told us that the footage of the period till October 18 has been erased since the clips are stored only for a period of one month.We are trying to retrieve the footage of October 15 in order to trace Najeeb’s movement inside the Jamia campus. We have sent the cameras to FSL so that we can get some clues in Najeeb’s case,” a police source said.Meanwhile, a guard at JNU’s Mahi Mandavi Hostel where Najeeb was staying had received a letter a few days ago which stated that the student was being held captive in Aligarh.However, on verification, the letter was found to be bogus. “We checked it. The information was bogus. The letter said he’s in captivity but it was found to be fake. There was no ransom demand,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said, adding that a team was sent to the address in Aligarh and it was found that the sender had used fake identity. The reward amount for providing information on Najeeb’s whereabouts has been increased from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh owing to the “sensitivity” of the matter.Najeeb went missing on October 15 following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with ABVP members the night before. The case was last week transferred from South District Police to Crime Branch in order to have a “fresh look” at the case.

JNU missing student case | Anyone providing information of Najeeb to be paid Rs 5 lakh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Police has raised the reward from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for anyone providing information that could help locate JNU student Najeed Ahmed, who has been missing from the university for over a month now. The force had initially announced that it will give Rs 50,000 to anyone providing information about Najeeb and had later increased the amount to Rs 1 lakh and then to Rs 2 lakh.A senior police officer said the amount has been increased to Rs 5 lakh. The case was last week transferred from South District to the Crime Branch to have a “fresh look” into it. The team probing it has started from scratch and is re-looking at all clues and evidence.Najeeb went missing on October 15 following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with the members of ABVP the night before. Last month, an SIT was formed to trace the missing student following an instruction from the Union Home Minister to the Delhi Police chief.
ALSO READ JNU missing student case to be discussed in winter session of ParliamentThe SIT, headed by Additional DCP-II (South) Manishi Chandra, however, failed to gain any actionable clues in the matter. The SIT was focusing on psychiatric angle in the probe after it was learnt that Najeeb was suffering from OCD with depression. The team was also mulling seeking help from psychiatrists from AIIMS or RML to chalk out a plan for probe in the case.The Crime Branch is probing all angles, sources said.

JNU missing student: Delhi police raises reward to Rs 5 lakh for information about Najeeb Ahmed

New Delhi: Delhi Police has raised the reward from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for anyone providing information that could help locate JNU student Najeed Ahmed, who has been missing from the university for over a month now.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The force had initially announced that it will give Rs 50,000 to anyone providing information about Najeeb and had later increased the amount to Rs 1 lakh and then to Rs 2 lakh.

A senior police officer said the amount has been increased to Rs 5 lakh.

The case was last week transferred from South District to the Crime Branch to have a “fresh look” into it. The team probing it has started from scratch and is re-looking at all clues and evidence.

Najeeb went missing on 15 October following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with the members of ABVP the night before.

Last month, an SIT was formed to trace the missing student following an instruction from the Union Home Minister to the Delhi Police chief.

The SIT, headed by Additional DCP-II (South) Manishi Chandra, however, failed to gain any actionable clues in the matter.

The SIT was focusing on psychiatric angle in the probe after it was learnt that Najeeb was suffering from OCD with depression. The team was also mulling seeking help from psychiatrists from AIIMS or RML to chalk out a plan for probe in the case.

The Crime Branch is probing all angles, sources said.

First Published On : Nov 16, 2016 17:15 IST

JNU missing student case to be discussed in winter session of Parliament

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The case of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed is likely to be raised in Parliament by the Opposition, with senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad saying that the matter was not just about a student, or a minority person, but about very humanity. The Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha said the issue was raised during one of the meetings held on Tuesday ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament starting on Wednesday.”Three important meetings were held today, one was about our own party with Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha leaders present, the other was of Congress and other like-minded parties and the third was the all-party meeting with government and the opposition. During the meeting, various issues were raised, from demonetization to SIMI (activists encounter) case, OROP. And, the case of Najeeb also came up. The leaders want that Najeeb’s case be discussed in Parliament,” Azad said.He was a addressing a gathering here at a seminar organised here by National Tricolour Association of India, a non-profit organisation. Azad, however, did not specify, the issue of the missing JNU student was raised in which of the three meetings. Najeeb went missing on October 15 following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with the members of ABVP the night before.The senior Congress leader also met Najeeb’s sister Sadaf and JNU student leader Shehla Rashid at the event. “I must tell that this is not just about Najeeb or a Muslim person, but about very humanity. A university student disappears, and there is no action, then it is matter of concern. And, even if it was Hindu boy, we would have been equally concerned, and fought it with the same zeal,” Azad said.Earlier during the programme, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, face of the party in Uttar Pradesh polls, sought to reach out to the Muslim community and said her party will always stand behind them. “Our Muslim brothers should not fear anything and live in this country like any other member of any other community,” she said.Dikshit, before leaving met Sadaf and Shehla on the stage. Shehla, who also addressed the gathering, took the occasion to hit out at the right-wing student outfit in the campus. “He went missing on October 15, but why no sniffer dogs were used later, or CCTV cameras footage checked. Some even said, he had joined ISIS and was mentally unsound. These are all nonsense theories being rounded up,” she claimed. “This fight anyway is not just about Najeeb, but a fight to preserve the fabric of India. It is fight about what we we forget and what we will remember. But, we will fight for justice for Najeeb,” she said.

Give notice to Nandini Sundar before moving against her: SC tells Chhattisgarh govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Tursday asked the Chhattisgarh government to give advanced notice of four weeks to social activist Nandini Sundar and others before proceeding against them in the case relating to the alleged murder of a tribal man in Naxal-affected areas of the state.The apex court also took on record the assurance given by the state government that Sundar and others, who have been booked for the alleged murder, will not be arrested or interrogated as of now. A bench of Justices M B Lokur and Adarsh Goel granted liberty to Sundar and others to approach the court if any notice of arrest or interrogation is served upon them. “ASG Tushar Mehta says that Nandini Sundar, Archana Prasad, Vineet Tiwari and others will not be arrested or interrogated. State government is directed to give four weeks advance notice before proceeding in the case. Liberty to petitioners to approach court after the notice is served,” the bench said.The bench, however, refused to entertain Sundar’s plea that the state should first take permission from the court before arresting or interrogating her and other activists in the case.”No, they can’t be stopped perpetually. If there is a crime, they need to proceed. It is their statutory right. They will first give you notice and then they can proceed,” the bench said, adding that the activist can approach the court after the notice is served. The bench also did not take on record ASG Mehta’s statement, saying when a statement is already been made that they would not be arrested, then nothing else is required.”We don’t need to look at everything. You have made a statement. Now it is on record. You will have to give advance notice. As and when you want to proceed, show us the material,” the bench said.On November 7, Delhi University Professor Sundar, JNU professor Archana Prasad and others were booked on charges of murder of a tribal villager in the insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh. At the outset, senior advocate Ashok Desai, appearing for Sundar and other activists showed some newspaper clips and said that IG Bastar Range K Sivarama Prasad Kalluri has recently made a statement that Nandini Sundar and others will not be able to enter Bastar and people will stone them. He said this should not be allowed.Mehta countered the argument claiming whenever there is a hearing on the matter, there are news reports and if the court wants to take on record these materials, then it should also have a look at the records which the state government wants to submit to the court. The bench, however, disposed of the application filed by Sundar and said if any notice is issued, then they have the liberty to approach the court.The court had on November 11 taken on record the statement of Chhattisgarh government that no action will be taken against Sundar and others till November 15 and had asked the state to find a peaceful solution to the Naxal problem there and adopt a “pragmatic” approach towards life. Police had claimed that alleged armed Naxals had killed the villager, Shamnath Baghel, with sharp weapons on the night of November 4 at his residence in Nama village under Kumakoleng gram panchayat in Tongpal area, around 450 kms from Raipur. Baghel and some of others were spearheading protests against Naxal activities in their village since April.An FIR was lodged against Sundar, Archana Prasad (JNU Professor), Vineet Tiwari (from Delhi-based Joshi Adhikar Sansthan), Sanjay Parate (Chhattisgarh CPI-M State Secretary) and others for the murder of Baghel based on the complaint of his wife, the state police had said. They were booked under section 120B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 and 149 of IPC at Tongpal police station.

Missing JNU student: Delhi police team reaches Darbhanga

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi police team is in Darbhanga in Bihar in search of JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, who has been missing since October 15 following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with some members of ABVP the night before, police said on Tuesday.”Whenever and from wherever any information is coming about Najeeb, teams are being sent there. A team has also been sent to Darbhanga,” a senior police officer said.Meanwhile, a Delhi Police team will also be going to Badaun to speak to a doctor, who was treating Najeeb for depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), even as his family members claimed that he was suffering from insomnia only and no other mental disorder.”Najeeb was undergoing treatment for depression since 2012 in his hometown Badaun. A team will be visiting Badaun to question the doctor to know about Najeeb’s personality, his behaviour and his thought process,” said a senior police officer.Sources said Najeeb’s family has not shared details that the JNU student was undergoing in Badaun. However, on the basis the prescriptions found in Najeeb’s hostel room, police questioned the doctor whom he had consulted in Delhi.”According to prescriptions, Najeeb had been prescribed an anti-depressant and sleep inducer medicines in August by a doctor at VIMHANS,” he said.On September 9, Najeeb had visited the hospital again with his mother and he was prescribed the anti-depressant drug and another drug to treat fits, police said, adding that he didn’t visit the hospital after that day. A psychiatrist from VIMHANS, who had been consulted by Najeeb and his mother twice in August and September was questioned by the SIT on October 23 to know about Najeeb’s mental condition.”In her statement, she said that she was told by Najeeb’s family that he was undergoing treatment for depression in Badaun since 2012. She concluded in her diagnosis after speaking to Najeeb that he is suffering from OCD and depression,” said a senior police officer. She stated that people who are suffering from OCD tend to have negative thoughts in their mind, get upset with small things, answer only in ‘yes’ or ‘no’.The doctor also told police that people suffering from OCD are not sure about themselves, tend to forget things and the medication prescribed to them has to be taken daily. If patients don’t take medicines regularly, their condition might worsen and may develop suicidal tendencies, she wrote in her statement given to the police.Police is also mulling over the possibility of seeking the opinion of a mental health expert to decode Najeeb’s personality.”We are thinking about making the investigating officer, Najeeb’s mother and a psychiatrist sit together and do a construction of Najeeb’s personality. It is possible we might seek the assistance of the VIMHANS doctor since she has met him or we might consult some other expert,” said the officer. The police is also considering issuing an appeal from Najeeb’s mother to urge him to come back.”It is being considered to ask Najeeb’s mother to issue a message to her son asking him to come back. The video message will be aired across news channels. But it is still a suggestion and no final call has been taken,” added the officer.More than 25 people have been questioned in the case, including the doctor who was treating Najeeb, his roommate Qasim, ABVP members, JNUSU president Mohit Pandey and former members of students union, but police hasn’t got any actionable clues that could lead them to Najeeb, who has been missing for over three weeks now.A team is also working to gain clues to Najeeb’s personality through his social media profiles. He was active on social media and he had two Facebook profiles and his posts and messages are being analysed, said the officer.Meanwhile, Najeeb’s family denied that he was suffering from OCD and claimed that he was only suffering from insomnia.”All these claims about him being mentally unstable are false. We have told police right from the start that Najeeb was suffering from insomnia. He was a studious person and many persons who study for long hours suffer from insomnia. He was only taking medicines for that,” Najeeb’s brother Mujeeb said.Police is making these claims just to hide their inefficiency in tracing my brother, he said, adding he was not mentally unstable.Earlier, Najeeb’s family met Delhi police commissioner Alok Kumar Verma and today they had a meeting with home minister Rajnath Singh.”It’s been 25 days since our brother went missing. Whether the police is conducting investigation promptly or slowly, the result has been zero,” Mujeeb said.Najeeb’s brother also said that they also urged the Home Minister to initiate a CBI inquiry in the matter.”He patiently heard us. We also discussed with him possibility of initiating a CBI inquiry. The SIT hasn’t been able to find Najeeb for the last so many days. It’s high time now that a CBI inquiry should be ordered,” Mujeeb said.Najeeb (27) went missing on October 15 following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with some members of ABVP the night before.

From Bhopal encounter to NDTV India ban: Is India heading towards dictatorship?

India to many is a land of paradoxes. This was again on display in the events that occurred last fortnight — ban on NDTV India, Bhopal encounter, the crackdown on opposition during Orop protests, and insensitive handling of Najeeb’s mother — which make one wonder if or not the Indian democracy is actually as deep rooted as we often believe it to be.

While our political leanings dictate our reading of these happenings that dominated public discourse in the past fortnight, I would like to argue that in many fundamental ways they expose besetting ills of our democracy, beyond political divisions. Below I have discussed what are these ills and how these incidents reveal them.

The NDTV India Ban — increasingly vulnerable freedom of press and speech

The now-stayed directive to ban NDTV India for a day was disconcerting at multiple levels. Its justification for the ban on the grounds of national security was quite flimsy. Its contention that NDTV India had aired information that adversely affected Pathankot operation was clearly short on facts.

NDTV-India

Firstly, NDTV India didn’t air anything that the terrorists may not have already known. In fact, there’s more detailed information available online. Secondly, as the Indian Express reported, the two terrorists, who are said to have benefitted from this information, may not even have existed.

Thirdly, if NDTV India indeed endangered security with its broadcast, why only NDTV‘s Hindi channel had been acted against when its English version too broadcasted the same information.

Finally, why did the government stay the ban when faced with Supreme Court hearing and protest ? If it actually believed its case had merit, backtracking does not make sense.

The apparent absence of merit in the government’s case and its subsequent backing down strengthens the apprehension that this was nothing more than an attempt to send a signal to the media house to resist from being critical of the government.

It is no secret that many among the ruling regime have no love for NDTV India, which they believe is hostile to the Modi Government. There have already been social media campaigns that were organised with NDTV as the target. While even such organised social media campaign would make anyone who values freedom of the press, wary, the use of government’s coercive power in the pretext of national security to get even with a media house that may not tow the government line is clearly abundant with dangers.

Firstly, it has a chilling effect on the freedom of press and expression. These media houses operate commercially, and a fear of getting entangled in legal tussles with the government can be a strong deterrent to them being able to offer information that can help the public make informed choices about their government.

Secondly, using national security as a pretext is even more disturbing, especially since those in power assume that anything done in the name of national security can be shielded from public questioning and will be readily accepted. This is detrimental to a democracy’s ability to question the government, which is the bedrock of democracy.

Bhopal Encounter — fraying confidence in Rule of law

If the NDTV India ban undermined the freedom of the press, the Bhopal encounters have brought to fore a diminishing commitment to law both among the ruling regime and the public.

The audio-visual material that has emerged in relation to the Bhopal encounter suggest conclusively that the encounters were fake right from the video of cops shooting an unarmed SIMI activist lying injured, to SIMI activists trying to surrender along with confessions of senior officers that the SIMI activists were unarmed, or the audio clip with instruction from control room to stage fake encounters.

Police at the encounter site at the hillocks of Acharpura village after the STF killed 8 SIMI activists. PTI

Police at the encounter site at the hillocks of Acharpura village after the STF killed 8 SIMI activists. PTI

While fake encounters in themselves are worrying, what is even more disturbing is that there is near total support for these encounters right from the bottom to the top. The entire state apparatus, which is supposed to uphold the law of the land, seems to be not just upholding the flagrant violation of law, but also appears to be celebrating it. There is no concern as to how such encounters criminalise the police force, or how their thirst for blood can lead to a destructive spiral that may kill many innocents.

One can sympathise with the frustration that is born out of a slow pace of justice, but if we are going to respond by legitimising kangaroo justice, then the rule of law — another essential feature of democracy — may not have a future. This is why when the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tried to justify the encounter, it revealed to me his loss of faith in the rule of law. It makes me worry about our democracy.

Crackdown on Opposition’s protest on Orop — muzzling political expression

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi talking to media at Tilak Marg Police Station. PTI

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi talking to media at Tilak Marg Police Station. PTI

The suicide of a decorated soldier frustrated at government’s failure to implement Orop (One rank one pension) in it’s purest form was understandably worrying for the government as it threatened to derail its ambition to milk nationalistic fervour. But what one couldn’t fathom was its indiscriminate crackdown on the opposition rank, simply because they were trying to make political capital out of the government’s embarrassment.

Using police to detain opposition leaders and denying them their democratic right to politicise the issue, is dangerously bordering on dictatorial conduct. It is fine for a government to counter the politics of the opposition with its own politics, but to unleash police to muzzle oppositions’ political expression, is undemocratic. Besides, our silence about it has made me more worried.

If the government can so brazenly swoop down on the opposition and suppress the opposition’s right to dissent and disagree with the regime of the day, without inviting widespread backlash from citizens, then it speaks lowly of the commitment of the citizenry to protect our political rights.

Mishandling of Najeeb’s mother — insensitive and brazenly partisan administration

The pictures of the missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed’s mother being dragged caused much consternation in the opposition’s rank. But politics aside, the indifferent attitude of the police towards its search for Najeeb and dealing emphatically with his family has lead many to feel that the police is denying Najeeb his constitutional right to equal protection of law both due to his identity (a Muslim and student of JNU) and his actions (being hostile to ABVP).

Also, it is inexplicable as to why has the Modi Government not tried to reach out to Najeeb’s family. Consoling a bereaved citizen is the least any sensitive government could do.

Representational image. Image courtesy: News18

The wide loss of confidence in the administration in securing the basic rights of its citizens is corrosive for democracy. It undermines public cooperation with an administration. The incident also raises doubts on whether justice exists for all in India or is it reserved only for those in the good books of the administration.

In conclusion, the last fortnight has indeed been worrying for Indian democracy from multiple perspectives. The ignominious conduct of the regime made it resemble dictatorship more than democracy. Hopefully, this will prove to be an aberration instead of a trend. And, if it makes us more cautious, it can, in fact, enrich democracy since eternal vigilance of actively involved citizens is the greatest strength of a democracy.

‘Vicious FIR proves Chattisgarh is a police state’: Twitter outrages over murder chages against academic Nandini Sundar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Delhi University professor and a JNU professor have been booked along with Maoists and others on charges of murder of a tribal villager in insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh. “An FIR was lodged against DU Professor Nandini Sundar, Archana Prasad (JNU Professor), Vineet Tiwari (from Delhi’s Joshi Adhikar Sansthan), Sanjay Parate (Chhattisgarh CPI (Marxist) State Secretary) and others along with Maoists for the murder of Shamnath Baghel based on the complaint of his wife on Saturday,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) S R P Kalluri told PTI last night. They were booked under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 147 (rioting), 148 and 149 of IPC at Tongpal Police Station, the IG said adding, “strongest possible action will be taken against those guilty after the investigation”. Delhi University professor Nandini Sundar strongly rubbished allegations of Chhattisgarh Police linking her to the murder of a tribal villager in Maoist-hit Bastar while a number of civil rights bodies called the charges a tactic of “revenge and harassment”. Reacting strongly, she said it was a clear case of being “framed” and that police have been forcing some people in Bastar to name her and others in someway. Meanwhile, others on Twitter outraged against the charges: Though the case was registered on Saturday, the matter came to light last night. Armed Naxals had allegedly killed Baghel with sharp weapons on Friday night at his residence in Nama village under Kumakoleng gram panchayat in Tongpal area, around 450 kms away from here. Baghel and some of his associates were spearheading the protest against Naxal activities in their village since April this year.”As per the complaint lodged by the victim’s wife, her husband had been getting threats from Maoists since he and other villagers had complained against Sundar in May this year. Even armed ultras were referring to that complaint and anti-Maoist demonstrations while attacking Baghel on Friday,” the IG said.The complaint also mentioned that during the attack on him, Maoists kept telling Baghel that he was being punished because he did not listen to Sundar and others, and continued opposing them. Baghel’s wife has sought action against Sundar and others accusing them of murdering her husband, Kalluri said.Baghel and other villagers of the region had earlier given a complaint to Tongpal police in May this year against Sundar, Prasad, Tiwari, Parate and an unidentified woman activist from Sukma for allegedly inciting innocent tribals against the government and seeking their support for Maoists. Villagers of Nama and the neighbouring Kumakoleng village (both under Kumakoleng village panchayat) had started a self-motivated protest against Maoist activities in their villages after forming its own security group named “Tangiya (axe) group” in April this year. “Following the development, according to villagers, Sundar and others went in the village to allegedly threaten them not to oppose the Maoists,” the IG said. Sundar had gone to the village with the alias Richa Keshav, he said. A letter was then written to the Vice Chancellors of both DU and JNU informing that Bastar police was conducting an inquiry against both the professors following complaint received against them, he added. With inputs from agencies

JNU missing student – 8 special teams formed to investigate case: Delhi Police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asserting that there are some vested interests by those who are creating misplaced apprehensions among the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students, Joint Commissioner of Police, Southwest, Deependra Pathak on Tuesday said eight separate teams have been formed to investigate the missing Najeeb Ahmed’s case. Pathak said the police are constantly communicating with Ahmed’s family and have been informing them about the investigation’s progress. “These protesting students are aloof from the truth. Eight separate teams are investigating the case. We have been communicating with the victim’s family on a daily basis and informing them of our progress,” Pathak said.The Joint Commissioner further said that special emphasis is being put on the reconstruction of the incident and of the personality to asses different dimensions of the case. “Under reconstruction of personality, we examine individuals’ health condition and psychosomatic condition. The fundamental aim of the police is to find different dimensions arising out of this,” he added.On Sunday, the Delhi Police detained JNU students who were staging protest against the authorities at the India Gate here for not taking firm steps to locate their Ahmed. Najeeb’s sister Sadaf Mosharraf, who was also among those detained by the police, vented her ire at the men in uniform. “We were protesting very peacefully but the Delhi Police detained us without any reason,” she said.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal criticised the incident saying the Centre is adopting ‘dictatorship’ policy and violating the constitutional right of an individual by adopting such measures. Kejriwal also met President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday to seek his intervention into the matter. Najeeb went missing on the intervening night of October 14 and 15 after allegedly being beaten up by a mob of 20 students comprising of the ABVP members, who had gone campaigning to his room for hostel elections.

JNU missing student row: Twitterati agitates against Delhi Police manhandling female protester

On Monday a picture of a JNU student being manhandled by Delhi Police while trying to quell the protest near India Gate, has sparked outrage on social media.

The photograph which caught everyone’s attention on social media is that of a female protester grabbed and taken aside by a male Delhi cop. The picture was taken by a photographer of a popular daily and has received a variety of reactions from ‘twitterati’. Some have condemned the act of ‘police manhandling’ while some have condemned the revelation of the identity of the protester.  Some even pointed out that ‘female cops should be deployed to handle female protesters’.

The protester was present at the rally taken out at Jantar Mantar by students of Jawaharlal Nehru University against alleged administrative inaction in the disappearance of 27-year-old student Najeeb Ahmad.

Many condemned the police cop, demanding his suspension.

Some questioned the procedure followed.

Others asked questions about the ethics of the photograph.

@SwatiJaiHind u posted her photo w/o blurring her face?? has she agreed to the use of this photo? @CPDelhi

— Saileena (@saileenas) November 7, 2016

However the police denied any misbehavior on their part. “During protest by JNU students today, none have been manhandled. A group of JNU students along with Najeeb’s mother assembled near Archaeological Survey of India building. They were persuaded not to move towards India Gate. They didn’t agree and were adamant to move ahead. They all were taken into a bus to Mayapuri police station. Fatima Nafees was duly attended to by lady Police officers and dropped at her place of stay,” a police statement said.

Najeeb Ahmad, 27-year-old, a student of School of Biotechnology and a native of Badaun in Uttar Pradesh, went missing on 15 October following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with the members of ABVP the night before.

Following his disappearance, Delhi Police and JNU students got into a tussle when the latter were protesting at Jantar Mantar against alleged administrative inaction on the part of the university, where the police allegedly roughed up and detained all of the 300 protesters including Ahmad’s mother, Fatima Nafees, according to an earlier Firstpost report.

With inputs from PTI

JNU student missing: Najeeb’s mother dragged, detained by Delhi Police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Twenty three days after Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Najeeb Ahmed went missing, his mother Fatima Nafees was on Sunday dragged on the road by the Delhi Police as she resisted her detention during a protest near the India Gate.”Najeeb’s mother was manhandled by the Delhi Police. Beaten up and dragged into the police van. Later, she was taken to Mayapuri police station,” JNU Students Union member Satarupa Chakraborty said. “The police blocked all the ways to India Gate and detained the peaceful protesters from the National Archive to different police stations,” she added.”Police have detained us and have brutally beaten us and have broken our mobile phones. Many protesters have been detained and are being taken to different locations. They openly threatened us that they will shoot us, saying that we have been hiding Najeeb for the last 23 days,” JNUSU president Mohit Pandey said.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also reached Mandir Marg police station, where Najeeb’s mother was kept, and said, “Had police have taken such efforts in finding Najeeb as they are taking in stopping protesters, they would have found him long back.””I was hit in the leg and on the shoulder while my aunt got hurt in the hand. This is a shameful act. We went there for a peaceful protest and they did this to us,” said Najeeb’s sister Sadaf Musharraf.The police has denied all charges of manhandling saying, “During the JNU protest on Sunday, none have been manhandled. A group of JNU students along with Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees assembled near ASI. They were persuaded not to move towards India Gate. They didn’t agree and were adamant to move ahead. They all were taken into a bus to Mayapuri police station. Fatima Nafees was duly attended to by lady police officers and is now being dropped to her place of stay”.Earlier on Sunday, Kejriwal along with a delegation of JNU students on Sunday met President Pranab Mukherjee and submitted a letter to him seeking his intervention in the case.”I met President Mukherjee to seek his intervention on Najeeb. He assured of all support and said he will seek a report from the MHA and the JNU administration,” Kejriwal tweeted.Najeeb Ahmed, a first-year MSc student at JNU, has been missing since October 15, following an altercation with some ABVP activists the night before.

JNU missing student row: Pranab Mukherjee promises action after meeting Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday promised action after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged him to direct the Modi government to step up efforts to trace a JNU student missing for over three weeks.

File photo of Pranab Mukherjee. PTI

File photo of Pranab Mukherjee. PTI

After meeting Mukherjee, Kejriwal said the President had promised to seek a report from the Home Ministry and the Jawaharlal Nehru University. “He (President) assured all support,” the Aam Aadmi Party leader tweeted.

The Chief Minister sought the President’s intervention regarding Najeeb Ahmed, who went missing from the Jawaharlal Nehru University on 15 October after a tiff with alleged members of the BJP-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

The ABVP has denied any involvement in his disappearance.

In a letter to the President, Kejriwal expressed shock that police did not question the students who allegedly attacked Najeeb until 4 November.

“I request you to urgently intervene in the turn of events in JNU, in your capacity as the Visitor of this premier university,” he said.

“I also request you to immediately direct the central government to expedite the investigation process to find Najeeb. We are at a juncture where every single moment counts.”

The AAP leader said the fact that Delhi Police had not been able to trace Najeeb raised serious concerns about the law and order situation in the national capital.

Kejriwal added that it was a shame that students struggling to trace their missing friend faced police action and an insensitive JNU administration.

“Since ABVP students are involved, there is a general perception that Delhi Police is not acting effectively. Even more problematic has been the role played by the Vice Chancellor of the University.”

He accused the Vice Chancellor of not acting against the ABVP students who attacked Ahmed.

And as police cracked down a JNU student protest at the India Gate memorial in the heart of the capital, Kejriwal urged the government not to turn Delhi into a police state.

The Chief Minister added sarcastically that if half the number of policemen deployed on Sunday had been utilized to trace Najeeb, he would have been found by now.

JNU missing student row: Najeeb’s mother, sister detained, released for taking out protest march

New Delhi: Mother and sister of JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, who is missing since 23 days, were  on Sunday detained when they along with scores of agitating students tried to take out a protest march to India Gate demanding intensified efforts from police in tracing him.

Fatima Nafees, mother of Najeeb, was virtually dragged into a bus by police along with other students when they were on their way to India Gate, triggering criticism from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who decided to visit the police station.

Fatima and her daughter Sadaf, were later released.

Earlier in the day, Kejriwal met President Pranab Mukherjee, and said he has been assured that the President will seek a report from the Home Ministry and the JNU administration on the issue.

“People who were involved in the brawl with Najeeb were questioned by the police yesterday, 22 days after he went missing. That was also a formality. We have apprised the President of the matter. He has assured us that he will seek a report from Delhi Police and JNU in this regard,” he said.

The Chief Minister also submitted a memorandum to the President expressing concern over the “worrisome” situation prevailing in JNU.

Representational image. CNN News 18Representational image. CNN News 18

Representational image. CNN News 18

Delhi Police, which blocked all roads leading to the area since afternoon, said permission for the protest was not granted and that section 144 of the CrPC was imposed in the India Gate area because of Chhat Puja.

The protest comes days after Kejriwal and other opposition party leaders visited the university during a protest regarding the missing student. There, in his address to the students, Kejriwal had said “Let’s sit on a protest at the India Gate”.

Najeeb (27), a student of School of Biotechnology and a native of Badaun in Uttar Pradesh, went missing on 15 October following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with the members of ABVP the night before.

“The shameless Delhi Police, which failed to find Najeeb for the last 23 days, have misbehaved with Najeeb’s mother. She was beaten up and dragged into the police van. His sister is also detained,” said Satarupa Chakraborty, general secretary of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union.

Najeeb’s family were detained at Mayapuri police station but when Kejriwal reached they had left.

“Police saying she has been sent home in a police van. Will wait here till she reaches home,” he tweeted.

He also vented his ire against Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying “It is obvious police doesn’t act it own, it follows its bosses. Earlier Congress tortured people taking shelter behind police now Modi is doing the same. Hay lagegi apko (you will be cursed)”.

Meanwhile, police officials denied that agitating students or Najeeb’s family were manhandled.

“During protest by JNU students today, none have been manhandled. A group of JNU students along with Najeeb’s mother assembled near Archaeological Survey of India building. They were persuaded not to move towards India Gate. They didn’t agree and were adamant to move ahead. They all were taken into a bus to Mayapuri police station. Fatima Nafees was duly attended to by lady Police officers and dropped at her place of stay,” a police statement said.

Alleging inaction on part of the administration, JNU Student’s Union (JNUSU) has been agitating against Najeeb’s disappearance from campus.

The protesting students had even confined the Vice Chancellor (VC) and other senior officials in the administrative building for over 20 hours last week. Following directives from the Union Home Ministry, Delhi Police formed a special investigation team (SIT) to trace the missing student.

JNU missing student: Kejriwal takes matter to President, assured of report from MHA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday President Pranab Mukherjee has assured that he will seek a report from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the JNU administration on the missing student. The Chief Minister called on the President. Talking to reporters after the meeting, he said he apprised Mukherjee of the matter. He also alleged that the Delhi Police did not take any action in the matter due to “political pressure”.”People who were involved in the brawl with Najeeb were questioned by the police yesterday, 22 days after he went missing. That was also a formality. We have apprised the President of the matter. He has assured us that he will seek a report from the Delhi Police and JNU in this regard,” Kejriwal said.”Met Hon’ble Prez to seek his intervention on missing JNU student Najeeb. He assured of all support n that he will seek report from MHA n JNU,” he later tweeted.
ALSO READ JNU missing student protest: Delhi police detain Najeeb Ahmed’s mother and others On November 3, while speaking at a solidarity meeting on the JNU campus, Kejriwal had accused Delhi Police of not probing the matter properly. Kejriwal, who has had frequent run-ins with the Delhi Police, had said it will not dare to pursue any investigation in this regard as RSS’ students’ wing ABVP was involved in the brawl.

We have no faith in JNU administration or Delhi police: Najeeb Ahmed’s family

New Delhi: Family of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Najeeb Ahmed who has been missing from the campus for 13 days, on Thursday claimed they have “no faith” in the university administration and investigation by the police.

JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) also demanded that police should first rule out his presence in the JNU campus by searching the jungles and also demanded that those accused of assaulting Ahmed should be questioned and arrested immediately.

A student of School of Biotechnology, Najeeb Ahmed, allegedly went missing on October 15 following a brawl on the campus allegedly with members of ABVP, the night before.

Claiming that Ahmed is not a person who would leave the campus on his own, his mother Fatima Nafees said he has been targeted as he was new and didn’t have many friends in the university.

“We have no faith in the university administration and the police investigation so far as the varsity officials are spreading ‘misinformation’ and shielding the ‘culprits’. Those who has been named as assaulters are roaming freely. They have not even been questioned,” she told reporters as she broke down.

Image courtesy: JNU website

Image courtesy: JNU website

Claiming that JNU administration is resorting to misinformation, Shahid, a resident of Mahi-Mandvi said that he was a witness and also got beaten during the violence along with Mohit Kumar Pandey, JNUSU president.

“I was on the second floor campaigning for hostel committee elections. After hearing the commotion I ran down. Vikrant (ABVP) said he was assaulted by Najeeb. I went up to Najeeb who was bleeding from his head. I asked him but he wasn’t able to speak. He went to the washroom.

“Another student Ankit said he wanted to use the washroom. I stopped him fearing he will again beat Najeeb. Ankit said he won’t and once inside started assaulting him. After we got him (Najeeb) out and were taking him to the warden’s office downstairs a group of 15-20 students literally lynched him,” Shahid alleged.

Shahid claimed that the proctor is making statements based on what Vikrant is saying and is refusing to state the depositions of the 20-odd neutral students.

“15 of us deposed before the police as well. But the police is yet to act against the assaulters,” added Shahid.

Alleging bias, Ahmed’s sister Sadaf said, “No written explanation was taken from the assaulters that day who beat up Najeeb in front of everyone including the warden. But they took it in writing from Najeeb. We have to force entry to proctor’s office and to meet the VC”.

JNU administration on Wednesday had issued a 25-point bulletin in connection with the case even as the varsity’s teachers association fumed over the authorities “selectively omitting” the fact that he was attacked during a brawl a night before.

JNUSU has been agitating alleging inaction on the administration’s part. The students had even confined the VC and other senior officials in the administrative building for over 20 hours last week.

Following directives from the Home Ministry, Delhi Police had formed a special investigative team to trace the missing student.

Manipuri student found dead inside JNU campus

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A PhD student was found dead under mysterious circumstances at his hostel room inside the JNU campus late on Tuesday night.JR Philemon Raja hailed from Manipur and was a PhD student at the school of international studies. He resided in Room number 171 at the Brahmaputra hostel.Students at the campus called the security after a foul smell started emanating from the room. They tried to see through the window and saw him lying face down on the floor. When the security broke open the door, Raja was found to be dead. Police authorities were subsequently informed as well.

Najeeb Ahmed row: JNU protests defy logic, will yield little for its present protagonists

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus is once again reverberating with protests. Dharna pradarshans are being staged for last one week, human chains are being formed, ‘solidarity marches’ are being carried on with fascinating slogans; raised in full tempo: “Zulmi jab jab zulm karega satta ke hathiyaron se chappa chappa goonj uthe ga Najeeb Najeeb ke naaron se”.

New hashtag #JusticeforNajeeb is doing rounds and the obvious topping to this is a “Sanghi Vice chancellor” and “Dalal media” playing the perpetual ‘antagonist’.

Former JNU Student Union (JNUSU) vice-president Shehla Rashid on Sunday evening shared a Facebook post that read, “Our Sanghi Vice chancellor can only do one thing and that is TWEET and call the Dalal media. We have not confined you Shameless VC. Please come out of your soundproof room and listen to us. See how we students want our fellow student NAJEEB back among us safely”.

The post was in reaction to a series of tweets by the JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, who on Sunday alleged that protesting students had blocked the entrance of his residence. In one of his tweets he said, “Agitating students.. please understand, by shouting slogans and blocking entrance to my residence, we cannot trace Najeeb”.

Campus tensions. Image courtesy News18Campus tensions. Image courtesy News18

File photo of Jawaharlal Nehru University campus. Image courtesy News18

Another tweet by Kumar added, “Repeated appeals to cooperate and not agitate have fallen on deaf ears of student agitators. This is unfortunate.”

As expected, Kumar was attacked for playing the “damsel in distress” and the victim, as many accused him of playing in the hands of the ‘sanghi goons’.

Following the arrest of former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar (in relation to 9 February incident) the protests that followed, garnered support from different quarters as it had an underlying logic to it. The support that poured in for a student leader, who allegedly participated in “anti-India” programme and was arrested like a local thug and slapped with a sedition charge, without any concrete evidence hinting at his culpability.

Merely nine months after that incident, a protest is again being held at the JNU campus, demanding quick action against the alleged culprits and against the “lackadaisical attitude of the JNU administration” in dealing with the issue of a missing student.

The ongoing protest at the JNU campus is in regard to missing Najeeb Ahmed, a student of MSc, who 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 intensity of the protest, the support it is attracting is nothing in comparison to post 9 February incident and the reason is obvious: The current protest, in spite of all its pretensions, is devoid of certain logic.

In a series of appeal that was posted on the official website of the university, the Vice-Chancellor has made it clear that “Efforts to keep in contact with the police are constantly on. The Vice-Chancellor of JNU is meeting the Police Commissioner on Monday morning in this regard. The JNU security is also on the vigil to locate him within the campus”.

In another appeal on Saturday, the JNU administration stated that “The missing of a student from the campus is everybody’s concern in JNU and the entire JNU community should make combined endeavours to trace Najeeb”.

All the appeals, however, have fallen flat to the shrill cries of protesting students, who on Sunday evening in large numbers marched to V-Cs house and held protests and demonstrations.

While fear of communalisation of the issue has been expressed by the JNU authorities and the police, the way the entire issue has been tackled has also given way to various conspiracy theories; some laughable, some raising concern and then some hinting at how JNU has become the microcosm of party-politics where winning the game by hook or crook remains the sole prerogative of its leaders.

According to some of the students in the campus, the entire twist given to the ‘minor’ fight between some students have been done deliberately. “During the current JNUSU elections, the Left parties felt their ground slipping so they joined hand together is spite of their intense ideological differences. They also felt threatened by the sudden rise of the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA), which has gained good support from students belonging to Other Backward Castes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Muslim communities and also from the Kashmiris students,” said a student of School of International Studies.

He adds, “Left parties are using this incident to regain the ground they feel they have lost to BAPSA.”

While such theories can be ignored as ideologically and politically motivated, it speaks in volume how politicised the entire discourse on the campus has become. To an extent that, an unfortunate event of beating up of a student has led to fierce political allegations and counter allegations and communalisation of the entire issue.

While concern over the security of the missing student was expressed by some of the faculty members and protesting students when Firstpost spoke to them, it cannot be dismissed that what is apparently falling short of some justifiable logic is the method of protest that has rocked the campus.

With host new and of old faces, the current protests in JNU over the missing student looks nothing more than a turf war fought between contending ideologies, some with firm ground and some trying to make space.

Protest that followed 9 February incident was waged in the name of free speech and expression and was against the arbitrariness of the sedition law. It had a well-crafted trajectory and a purpose. However, the current politics over the missing MSc student reminds one of the bewilderment of the Lewis Carroll’s Alice and ironically honest remark of her Cheshire Puss (cat) that, whatever direction she takes, she is bound to encounter madness, defied of any concrete logic.

Given the fact that Home Minister himself has instructed the Delhi police to probe the case, it will not be too long now that police will be able to find Najeeb, or god forbid, will let the world know if something unfortunate happened to the 27-year-old student. Till then, however, JNU will be held hostage to a fierce ‘ideological’ war in which no matter which side you fall and what direction you take, madness will abound.

Missing JNU student: Nearly 100 agitators detained after protesting outside Home Ministry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>JNU students, who have been agitating for the last six days over a missing student, on Friday staged a protest outside Home Ministry alleging inaction in tracing him following which nearly 100 of them were detained.With the agitated students keeping Vice Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar and other university officials confined to the university’s administrative block for over 20 hours, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had directed Delhi Police on Thursday to set up a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to trace the missing student.A student of School of Biotechnology, Najeeb Ahmed, allegedly went missing on Saturday following a brawl on the campus the night before. An FIR for kidnapping and wrongfully confining a person was lodged at Vasant Kunj North police station on Thursday after the police received a complaint from the student’s guardians.”It has been seven days and there is no sign of Najeeb. He was beaten up in front of senior warden of the hostel, security personnel and many students. All the eyewitnesses have given statement against the identified students but they are roaming freely,” JNU Students Union President Mohit Pandey said.According to police officials, around 80-100 students were detained as a preventive measure. Security was beefed up at Raisina Hill in anticipation of the protest. Vehicular movement was stopped on Raisina Road and police, and paramilitary forces deployed in and around the area after police received information that the university students would arrive to stage a protest.The students also submitted a memorandum to Home Ministry officials demanding speedy investigation into the case. JNUSU decided to change the mode of their protest after confinement of the VC and around 12 other officials attracted criticism from various quarters. Najeeb’s family, which has been camping inside the JNU campus for five days, also joined them in the protest on Friday.

Security tightened in anticipation of JNU students’ protest in Raisina Hill area

Fri, 21 Oct 2016-08:24pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security has been beefed up in New Delhi district in anticipation of a protest by JNU students in front of the Home Ministry at Raisina Hill on Friday over alleged inaction of the university administration and police in tracing missing student Najeeb Ahmed.Vehicular movement has been blocked on Raisina Road and police, and paramilitary forces have been deployed at and around the area after police received information that the university students would arrive to stage a protest, a police official said.Ahmed has been missing from the JNU campus since Saturday.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had on Thursday ordered the Delhi Police to set up a special team to trace Ahmed, even as the agitating students decided to change their mode of protest after keeping the Vice Chancellor and some other top officials under siege for over 20 hours.The agitating students had said they decided to change their mode of protest and will no longer confine VC M Jagadesh Kumar and other officials of the university.

JNU, freedom of speech and the Left’s licence to bully

A line needs to be drawn in the sand between freedom of expression and unadulterated bullying by the left-wing student unions in the ‘prestigious’ Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The unholy fiasco over 27-year-old student Najeeb Ahmed, who still remains untraceable, is indicative of a larger political ploy where no anarchical behaviour is out of bounds and legality, and logic and reasoning become cuss words on the altar of regressive leftist politics.

To be clear, one isn’t talking of the burning of Dussehra effigies inside the JNU campus, where ‘the triumph of good over evil’ was celebrated by lighting up Ravana’s 10 heads, that included those of Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Baba Ramdev and V-C Jagadesh Kumar. Even if in poor taste, the acts fall within the students’ right to dissent and should draw no penal action.

But it is difficult to understand what right was being upheld when 12 of the JNU’s top brass, including a diabetic lady official, were kept confined for nearly 24 hours within the administrative block, without access to food and water by the left-backed JNUSU.

JNU V-C Jagadesh Kumar coming out of his office. PTIJNU V-C Jagadesh Kumar coming out of his office. PTI

JNU V-C Jagadesh Kumar coming out of his office. PTI

The demands of the nearly 200 agitating students ranged from the fantastic “bring back Najeeb immediately” — as if the varsity administration knew about his whereabouts — to the ridiculous “administration acted in an insensitive manner and is trying to shield ABVP culprits”, that indicates either a misunderstanding of the legal-criminal procedure or worse still, a callous disregard for the laws of the land with an eye to score political points.

The events leading to the disappearance of the first-year MSc Biotechnology student on Saturday, following a brawl on campus the night before, are unclear. Contradictory eyewitness reports have emerged, recounting that Najeeb was last seen boarding an auto on 15 October. According to his mother however, Najeeb had called her around 11 am on that day and said that he was waiting for her at the hostel, but was nowhere to be found thereafter.

Meanwhile, JNU has once again turned into a battle zone between ABVP, who allege that they are being wrongfully accused of a crime they did not commit, and left-backed students’ unions who are convinced that the right-wing students’ outfit is responsible for Najeeb going ‘missing’.

The point that should not be lost sight of, however, is that the disappearance of a student from campus is a matter for the police and relevant authorities to investigate.

An FIR has been lodged at the Vasant Kunj North Police Station, the police has launched an inquiry, multiple students have been summoned and the procedure has kicked off in right earnest.

“We have some leads and these are being explored to ensure a safe rescue. Details cannot be shared now,” additional DCP (South) Nupur Prasad was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. A cash reward of Rs 50,000 has been announced for information about him.

About 10 squads investigators have left for Najeeb’s hometown in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, and are gathering information about his whereabouts. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has announced the formation of a Special Investigative Team (SIT) and has asked the police commissioner to expedite the probe.

It’s not as if the wheels of the machinery aren’t moving but when the aim is to turn every issue into a political game and try and score points against the administration – and in turn against the Narendra Modi government at the Centre – then the truth can be bent and subverted to meet narrow ends.

According to the V-C, who along with his colleagues was locked inside their rooms for close to a day, pleading with the agitators that they (administration) are as concerned about the missing student and is determined to help the police in every way to help trace him, bore no fruit.

“They have wrongfully confined us since 2.30 pm with unreasonable demands like bring Najeeb immediately. These things are not in our hands but with the police. We are doing whatever we can. We also want the safe return of Najeeb. But they (students) have not even listened to our pleas. There is a lady official who is unwell and she too is inside,” the V-C was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

On JNUSU president Mohit Pandey’s claim, that the confined officials had access to food and water, India Today quoted the V-C as saying: “We slept on the floor. This is a complete lie that we had been provided food. Our several colleagues are sick and they spent the whole night without any facility…Students have become relentless and adamant and think that we are not doing our best.”

On the students’ charges of insensitivity and laxity in taking action, the V-C said, while speaking to the media, that they have been in constant touch with the police with regards to the search for Najeeb and that the proctorial investigation into the violence had already started.

“How can we take action against any student before the investigation is over. We have to hear all versions and come to a fair decision,” the V-C said.

In between, as the gherao was called off, the issue created a rift between the left-wing student organisations – with some going on to blame JNUSU president Pandey of taking a unilateral decision.

According to a student leader, as quoted by The Telegraph: “Demands from small radical student groups had forced us to do a gherao that wasn’t feasible because it is exam time and the support is low,”

“It’s not yielding anything and the teachers too have withdrawn support,” the student leader said.

The regressive politics of the left has gained in aggression ever since a left alliance of CPIM-backed SFI and CPI-ML’s AISA won the recent student union polls over the right-wing ABVP. Just a few days back, PTI reported about an incident where a section of JNU teachers had accused the student union members of resorting to violence, while a discussion on the feasibility of introducing courses in yoga and Indian culture was going on at a meeting.

Professor Amrita Singh, according to a DNA report, was allegedly abused and attacked inside the university campus by a group of students on 7 October.

“I stepped out of the academic council meeting late Saturday evening, and was immediately surrounded by around 20 students. They started calling me out, abusing me, calling me “sanghi” and didn’t even let me move. When I, along with the JNU registrar and proctor tried to get into our car, we were stopped and surrounded by the students who started banging on the car. Some of them even laid down in front of the car,” Professor Amita Singh, Dean of School of Law and Governance, was quoted, as saying by the newspaper.

For the regressive left, which finds itself increasingly redundant, academic institutions like JNU are an ideal battleground from where political campaigns against the current NDA government can be launched.

Reports have already emerged of an effort to communalise Najeeb’s disappearance, which may come in handy during the upcoming Assembly polls in UP. One won’t be surprised if Najeeb becomes the victim of a larger, more sinister game.

JNU and the state of strife: Mindless protests against the admin won’t bring Najeeb Ahmed back

Imagine my surprise on Thursday morning when I found my Vice-Chancellor, Professor M Jagadesh Kumar on national TV. He was speaking of the harrowing night that he and the top JNU administrators spent confined inside the administration building, surrounded by a mob of slogan-shouting students. Just a few days back, on 15 October 2016, Najeeb Ahmed, a 27-year-old MSc Biotechnology student, had gone missing after an altercation in the Mahi-Mandavi Hostel. The students blamed the administration for not doing enough to bring him back to JNU. Therefore the gherao.

JNU V-C M Jagadesh Kumar coming out of office after being gheraoed by students. PTI

JNU V-C M Jagadesh Kumar coming out of office after being gheraoed by students. PTI

The actions of the students defy both common sense and logic. It is true that Najeeb was missing, but how can the university administration be held responsible? Moreover, how could illegally imprisoning the Vice-Chancellor and top officials of the university help restore Najeeb? In fact, a case of kidnapping has already been filed in the Vasant Kunj police station at the student’s mother’s behest; moreover, the University authorities had issued directives to the security, the wardens, and all concerned staff to try to find Najeeb. According to this directive, the JNU security were seen stopping incoming and outgoing auto-rickshaws, showing them a picture of Najeeb to ask if they had seen him. On Thursday evening, the Delhi Police also posted a reward of Rs 50,000 for information leading to his recovery, in addition to the SIT formed to look for him.

Events in JNU can better be understood in the light of victory of Left wing SFI-AISA combine, which won all four seats of the JNU Students Union elections held on 10 September 2016. Observers expected a continuous clash with the administration. The first flash point was the sleep-in organised in front of the administration building demanding immediate hostel accommodation for all students. Few universities anywhere in the world promise hostel accommodation along with admission; in Delhi University, Jamia Millia or Ambedkar University, for example, a vast number of the students, both undergraduate and graduate, must make their own arrangements. But in JNU hostel, accommodation is demanded as a right. It is alleged that the administration diverted money allocated to build hostels: anything to make students out to be victims of a callous and villainous administration.

It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the Students Union, affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), will use every opportunity to keep the pot boiling in JNU. Targeting the administration, and whenever possible, the Modi sarkar, is to be expected. JNU is being used as a political platform. Najeeb, we must not forget, has been identified as an AISA activist. What is nefarious is how Dalit and Muslim students have been used by the Left and ultra-Left to try to present the present government as anti-Dalit and anti-minority. Najeeb is from Badaun in UP, clearly something that might be used against the BJP in the forthcoming state elections.

But what is the truth behind the Najeeb incident? From eyewitness reports, it is learned that he slapped an ABVP student who had come to his door to campaign for a post on the hostel’s mess committee. After this, an altercation followed, and an on-the-spot inquiry held in which Najeeb was found guilty of misdemeanour. Even his roommate, also a Muslim, reportedly testified against him. During these proceedings, the warden and the JNUSU President, Mohit Pandey, were present.

Was he brutally assaulted afterwards as alleged? The pamphlets and reports put out by various anti-administration groups led by the Students Union vastly exaggerate facts. That he was brutally beaten till he was bleeding and unconscious is far from the truth. Yes, he was hit a couple of times, but he walked out to the auto-rickshaw on his own, escorted by one of the wardens. He had been asked to leave because of his misconduct. If he had been grievously injured, wouldn’t he have needed hospitalisation? What is more, where is the smartphone footage of his “lynching”?

Does this mean that the attack on him must be denied, ignored or white-washed? Not at all. A proper inquiry must be held and the guilty must be punished. By the same token, he should also be penalised for slapping a fellow-student twice. The university is no place for violence; here, dissent is not only permitted but welcomed. Students with differing views must learn to respect one another. Similarly, a university is not a place where a mob of students hijack the administration building, imprisoning their own faculty. Least of all should JNU be such a place. It is not that such gheraos have never happened in the past, but the university community has usually condemned them.

The anti-administration tactics of the Students Union are deplorable, as is their generally negative approach to everything that doesn’t conform to their narrow ideological credo. Much of the propaganda that they dish out, including their pamphlets and posters, are sheer fabrications combined with ideological bilge. On the other side, the ABVP needs also to rein in its cadres, especially in matters of orderly conduct. It helps no one to react violently, whether in word or action, in matters of political conflict, especially at a university.

As a long-standing faculty member of this university of national importance, I am deeply saddened over the recent events. We live in a deeply divided campus, with mutual distrust at an unprecedented high. Today, in varying degrees, both the Students Union and the Teachers Association of the university stand discredited. They have been unable to maintain peace and tranquillity, let alone the academic integrity of the campus. What can the administration, perhaps the most important player in this discordant microcosm, alone do without the cooperation of all sections of the campus community? Perhaps they can send out a clear signal by punishing the guilty, acting firmly and fairly, and, above all, restoring academics as JNU’s top priority.

In the meanwhile, we are all concerned: Where is Najeeb and why did he disappear? Both these questions remain unanswered. But how can we rule out that he left of own accord? Or even worse, has gone missing deliberately as a part of a larger political ploy of bringing discredit to the administration? But far worse is the thought voiced by a young student, already so disillusioned by the JNU politics, “Campus politics has hit a new low – how do we know that they will not harm Najeeb themselves for political gains?” I certainly hope this is not true: good sense needs to prevail. I join JNU colleagues and students in appealing to Najeeb to return so that peace is restored to JNU at the earliest.

(Makarand R Paranjape has been Professor of English at JNU for over fifteen years.)

Threat letter sent to former JNU students union member over missing student

New Delhi: A threat letter was on Thursday received by former JNU students union joint secretary and ABVP member Saurabh Sharma warning him over the missing varsity student.

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

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

The letter was delivered to Sharma at his room in Jhelum Boys Hostel of Jawaharlal Nehru University, which threatened him to be “cut into pieces”.

“I got the letter today morning, which cited incidents in West Bengal and asked me how dare I touched a Muslim boy. It also said that irrespective of whether Najeeb returns or not, I will be cut into pieces,” Sharma said, adding that this is not the first threatening letter he received.

“I have received many such letters post the February 9 incident. But I will keep standing up to my nationalistic beliefs come what may.”

The letter was sent by one Shahid Khan through Speed Post, whose address was mentioned on the envelope as that of Jahangir Puri along with a mobile number.

“Saurabh Sharma, Hope this letter finds you at least in a condition where you can read. As our boys are already looking for you to cut into pieces. Looks like you haven’t taken any lessons from the recent Bengal attacks where our boys are thrashing people of your community into pieces,” the letter said.

“How dare you touch a Muslim boy. Najib Ahmed wapas ‘mile na mile’ but we will find you and burn down the whole ABVP and JNU. Wait till that time comes!” it added.

Sharma, was the complainant of the controversial 9 February event on campus against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

JNU students resolve to protest peacefully after keeping V-C under siege for 20 hours

New Delhi: After keeping JNU Vice Chancellor and other officials under siege for over 20 hours, JNU students resolved to change their “method” of protest and resort to peaceful agitation till missing student Najeeb Ahmed is traced.

JNU V-C coming out of his office. PTI

JNU V-C coming out of his office. PTI

The students who had during the day “let out” the VC and officials only to attend the Academic Council meeting, later decided to end the blockade and not use confinement as a method. “We had an all party meeting and we decided that we will not resort to confinement now even as we will continue with our agitation till Ahmed is found and a proper enquiry is conducted into the entire issue,” a member of JNUSU said.

The student groups, however, were divided over changing the strategy of the protest. While BASO and BAPSA, two groups active on campus, were of the opinion of continuing the confinement after the AC meeting, All India Students Association (AISA) opined otherwise.

The confinement of the officials by students attracted criticism from various quarters including JNU Teachers Association, which has been supportive of the students union over past issues raised by them. “Howsoever peaceful the confinement is, it is wrong,” JNUTA President Ajay Patnaik said.

A student of School of Biotechnology, Najeeb Ahmed, allegedly went missing on Saturday following a brawl on the campus the night before. An FIR for kidnapping and wrongfully confining a person was lodged at Vasant Kunj North police station yesterday after the police received a complaint from the student’s guardians.

JNU unrest: Rajnath Singh directs Delhi police to set up special team to trace missing student

New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday directed the Delhi Police to set up a special team to trace a missing student of Jawaharlal Nehru University, where a section of students has been staging protest alleging inaction by authorities in the case.

File photo of Rajnath Singh. Reuters

File photo of Rajnath Singh. Reuters

Singh called up the Commissioner of Delhi Police and gave the instruction to set up the special team to find the missing student, a Home Ministry official said.

The student, Najeeb Ahmed, went missing on Saturday following a brawl on the campus the night before.

Agitating JNU students have confined the Vice Chancellor, M Jagadesh Kumar, and about 12 other officials in the university’s administrative building since Wednesday afternoon though students and media persons have been able to access it.

Coming down heavily on protesting students, the VC warned of action against them. He said that several rounds of talks were held with the students to convince them regarding the sincerity of the university to locate Najeeb but they were continuing with their “illegal” activity.

“If all our efforts fail, if we continue to be confined like this and if we are prevented from doing our duty, we will have no other option but take suitable action. There is an important academic council meeting at 2:30 pm, and we have to leave this venue and go to another venue at around 2:15 pm,” the VC told reporters this morning.

Rejecting allegations of inaction, Kumar on Thursday said they had written to the police about the missing student and an inquiry by the university will be expedited and the “guilty” will be punished.

Police have announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for anyone who can provide information about JNU student Najeeb’s whereabouts. A public advertisement has also been issued in this regard, police said.

JNU: VC, other officials allowed to go; HM asks police to set up special team to trace missing student

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar and other officials who were confined on the campus premises by a section of students, who were protesting over a missing hostel inmate, were allowed to go after being held for 22 hours.The students, who are agitating over alleged inaction by the university in the case of missing student Najeeb Ahmed, have temporarily called off their gherao and allowed the VC and some other officials to come out of the building where there were held since Wednesday afternoon. They were allowed to leave to attend an important academic council.Rejecting allegations of inaction, Kumar said that they had written to the police about the missing student and that an inquiry by the university would be expedited with the “guilty” punished.Coming down heavily on the protesting students, the VC said that several rounds of talks were held with them to convince them regarding the sincerity of the university to locate Najeeb but they had continued their “illegal” activity of holding the authorities hostage.Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh directed the Delhi Police to set up a special team to trace the missing student. Najeeb Ahmed went missing on Saturday, following a brawl on the campus the night before.(With agency inputs)

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

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.”

Protest at JNU turns volatile over missing youth; students confine VC, senior Officials

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As protest in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) turns volatile with students blocking the administrative building and locking up the vice-chancellor and other officials over the missing student, varsity vice chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar on Thursday said the move by the protesting students was ‘unfortunate and illegal’.Vice-chancellor Jagadesh Kumar told ANI in a telephonic conversation that it is wrong on the part of the students to gherao him and other officials.”We are also concerned that Najeeb Ahmad is missing. We have talked to police also but gheraoing me and other officials is wrong. Students have gheraoed us since 2.30 pm. We had to sleep on floor and there is no food to eat. Students are not even allowing wives of officials to meet,” he added.Yesterday, also at around 1.30 am., the VC tweeted, “Since the students did not let us go home inspite our appeal, we have no other option but be confined to the administration building”.Meanwhile, no trace of missing Najeeb Ahmad was found even on the sixth day after he went missing.Ahmad was allegedly assaulted by ABVP activists on October 14 during a mess election campaign at Mahi-Mandvi hostel. From the next day, he has gone missing.According to students, he left the hostel without his wallet, mobile and even his footwear.

JNU students lock V-C, other senior officials in admin building over issue of missing student

New Delhi: The protests in JNU over a missing student turned volatile on Wednesday with the agitating students locking down the Vice Chancellor and other senior officials in the administrative building.

“We have been locked inside the building since 2.30 pm. There is a female colleague with us who is unwell as she is diabetic,” JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar said on Wednesday night.

Representational image. Firstpost/Tarique Anwar

Representational image. Firstpost/Tarique Anwar

The VC and other senior officials were locked for more than eight hours as the students were lying down outside the administration block, saying the officials were free to walk over them.

The JNU students union defended its stand, claiming there has been no “illegal detention”.

“We have not illegally confined anybody in JNU administrative building. Electricity and all kind of supplies are here. We have also sent food for people inside,” Mohit Pandey, President, JNUSU, said.

Police officials were seen outside the campus, awaiting a nod from the administration to enter the premises.

A large number of students had gathered at the administrative block in the afternoon to protest. After sloganeering and demonstration, the students blocked the gates of the building.

After intervention from the security, the locks were opened, but in the evening as most of the staff left, the students again continued with the blockade.

“The blockade is due to the insensitive way of handling he matter of Najeeb Ahmed — the violence against him by ABVP which led to him missing from the campus for over five days now and the JNU administration trying to shield the culprits while refusing to lodge an FIR,” the JNUSU President said.

The situation remained tense with the Left-backed JNUSU and ABVP levelling allegations and counter-allegations. ABVP alleged that there is inconsistency in the statements of the JNUSU president Mohit Pandey and the roommate of Ahmad.

Meanwhile, at least 12 students were summoned earlier in the day by JNU administration to appear before the proctorial committee in connection with a case involving a missing student amid protests by students who claimed Vice Chancellor acted in an “insensitive” manner on the issue.

A student of School of Biotechnology, Najeeb Ahmed, allegedly went missing on Saturday following a brawl on the campus the night before.

An FIR for kidnapping and wrongfully confining a person was lodged at Vasant Kunj North police station yesterday after the police received a complaint from the student’s guardians.

“The JNU administration had summoned 12 students to depose before the proctorial committee whose names have been associated with the incidence of violence at Mahi-Mandvi hostel on October 14.”

“The committee has also asked anyone who wants to depose to come forward and help in the investigation. Condemning the students for blocking the administrative block, JNU teachers also urged the administration to put more pressure on the police to find Ahmed and appealed for him to return without fear of victimisation,” a statement said.

The vice chancellor and other top JNU officials briefed the media for the first time since the disappearance on 15 October and said that all necessary measures have been taken to trace the boy and is also in touch with the family.

“But we are really concerned about his safety and is constantly in touch with the police providing them whatever information required. We also appeal to Najeeb if his is reading this to return to the university. We assure him of all help,” said Kumar.

Accepting the fact that so far no leads have been made on the episode of Ahmed’s disappearance from the campus, Kumar added, “nobody knows what has happened to him so far”.

“The family had filed a missing complaint and when we approached the police we were already told that an FIR has been lodged by the family,” said Chintamani Mahapatra, Rector of JNU.

JNU missing student: Protest intensifies, VC locked in building

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after the brawl between Najeeb Ahmed and ABVP students late on Friday last week, an emergency meeting held by the warden at 12:30 AM pronounced Ahmed guilty and expelled him from the hostel “with immediate effect.” This was revealed in notings of the meeting accessed by DNA that was held between the warden and students immediately after the brawl.Meanwhile, the Delhi Police have announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for anyone who can provide information with regard to the kidnapping case of Najeeb Ahmed. Posters have been put up at various locations in the Capital to this effect. The students also gheraoed the campus late Wednesday night locking senior university officials inside the administration building, even as JNUSU claimed that it had not done so.”We have been locked inside the building since 2.30 PM. There is a female colleague with us who is unwell as she is diabetic,” JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar said on Wednesday night. The VC and other senior officials are locked for more than eight hours as the students are lying down outside the administration block saying the officials were free to walk over them. The JNU students union defended its stand claiming there has been no “illegal detention”.”We have not illegally confined anybody in JNU administrative building. Electricity and all kind of supplies are here. We have also sent food for people inside,” Mohit Pandey, President, JNUSU said.27-year-old Najeeb Ahmed went missing from the campus the same morning, and has been untraceable ever since. Explaining the decision to expel the student in the middle of the night, the warden of the Mahi Mandavi hostel in JNU, Dr Sushil Kumar said. “Ahmed accepted that he was guilty and that he incited physical violence in front of everybody. In cases where physical violence is involved, it is a requirement to make a noting and take action, so that other students don’t feel the administration is not concerned about their safety. Inciting physical violence also requires that hostel provision be withdrawn. That is why the decision was taken.”The warden, however, also claimed that Ahmed was unaware of the decision of the warden’s committee, and that official communication would have only gone to the student Monday. “He was not informed about the decision. An emergency meeting held on 16th October then decided to defer the decision, in the light of the incident, until further notice,” Dr Sushil Kumar added.As per the notings, Ahmed slapped ABVP student Vikrant Kumar “without any provocation” in front of two students. This action, the noting states, was accepted by Najeeb, “in front of the senior warden, mess warden, JNUSU President, among others.”“On the basis of the written complaint given by Shri Vikrant Kumar( Room 213 Mahi) and eyewitness accounts and the acceptance of guilt by Shri Najeeb Ahmed (Room no 106 Mahi), Mr Ahmed stands accused of physical violence against Shri Vikrant Kumar. Accordingly, the warden’s committee in the presence of JNUSU President Shri Mohit Pandey, hostel president Shri Alimuddin, former President Shri Dileep Kumar has taken the impromptu decision to expel Najeeb Ahmed from Mahi Mandavi hostel with immediate effect,” the noting of the meeting, written by the warden and signed by witnesses states“Official communication for vacating the hostel premises will be provided to Shri Ahmed in due course will be provided to Shri Ahmed in due course. Shri Ahmed is required to vacate the hostel on or before October 21, 2016,” it adds.While the student still remains untraceable, Wednesday again saw various student bodies protesting inside the campus demanding that the administration find the missing student as quickly as possible. The student went missing last Saturday. A case of kidnapping was registered at the Vasant Kunj police station two days after the student went missing. The student’s family has been on campus since Saturday.With PTI inputs

JNU missing student case: 12 students summoned during probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 12 students were summoned on Wednesday by JNU administration to appear before the proctorial committee in connection with a case involving a missing student amid protests that the Vice Chancellor acted in an “insensitive” manner on the issue. A student of School of Biotechnology, Najeeb Ahmed, allegedly went missing on Saturday following a brawl on the campus the night before.An FIR for kidnapping and wrongfully confining a person was lodged at Vasant Kunj North police station on Tuesday after the police received a complaint from the student’s guardians.”The JNU administration had summoned 12 students to depose before the proctorial committee whose names have been associated with the incidence of violence at Mahi-Mandvi hostel on October 14.The committee has also asked anyone who wants to depose to come forward and help in the investigation. Condemning the students for blocking the administrative block, JNU teachers also urged the administration to put more pressure on the police to find Ahmed and appealed for him to return without fear of victimisation,” a statement said.M Jagadesh Kumar, vice chancellor, JNU and other top officials briefed the media for the first time since the disappearance on October 15 noon and said that all necessary measures have been taken to trace the boy and is also in touch with the family.”But we are really concerned about his safety and is constantly in touch with the police providing them whatever information required. We also appeal to Najeeb if his is reading this to return to the university. We assure him of all help,” said Kumar.Accepting the fact that so far no leads have been made on the episode of Ahmed’s disappearance from the campus, Kumar added, “nobody knows what has happened to him so far”.”The family had filed a missing complaint and when we approached the police we were already told that an FIR has been lodged by the family,” said Chintamani Mahapatra, Rector of JNU.The campus remained tense with large number of students gathering at the administrative block in the afternoon to protest. After sloganeering and demonstration the students blocked the gates of the building.After intervention from the security the locks were opened, but in the evening as most of the staff left, the students again continued with the blockade.”The blockade is due to the insensitive way of handling the matter of Najeeb Ahmed — the violence against him by ABVP which led to him missing from the campus for over five days now and the JNU administration trying to shield the culprits while refusing to lodge an FIR,” said Mohit Pandey, president, JNUSU.The situation remained tense with the left-backed JNUSU and ABVP levelling allegations and counter-allegations. ABVP alleged that there is inconsistency in the statements of the JNUSU president Mohit Pandey and the roommate of Ahmad.

JNU student goes missing under mysterious circumstances

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student and AISA activist has gone missing under mysterious circumstances, police said on Sunday.Najeeb Ahmad, pursuing MSc in Biotechnology and resident of room 106 of Mahi/Mandavi hostel, has been missing since yesterday allegedly after an altercation with a few students on Saturday night, they added.A case under section 365 (kidnapping with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person) of IPC has been registered at the Vasant Kunj North police station on the basis of a complaint by his parents, police said.An AISA activist said Najeeb, who joined the hostel a fortnight ago, had an altercation with some ABVP activists on Saturday night when they were holding a door-to-door campaign at the hostel for the mess committee election.Najeeb allegedly slapped a student following which residents of the hostel asked him to vacate his room.However, the activist alleged, “It all started with a scuffle between two groups of students, but then an entire group of ABVP activists came to avenge it and beat him up,” the activist said.All those who tried to save him, including the warden, JNUSU President and hostel residents were also beaten up.There was a protest organised by JNUSU at the university demanding the JNU administration to immediately take up the matter with the police from the university’s side, said a student.

Disclose steps taken to prevent thefts on campus: CIC to JNU

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jawaharlal Nehru University must pro-actively disclose steps taken to ward off the menace of theft which has recently plagued the institution as it is suspected that culprits could be hiding somewhere inside the campus, the Central Information Commission has held. The issue surfaced during a hearing before the CIC where an appellant sought damages from the university for a theft that took place at his residence inside the campus. The university said it was impossible to ascertain truthfulness of claims and demands for providing compensation in absence of bills or vouchers from the appellant as it can only pay damages if the appellant proves the loss actually suffered by him and if it was due to negligence of respondent authority (JNU). It said appellants Jamal Ahmed and SJ Ashraf did not submit the vouchers required. “The conduct of the appellant and his representative give rise to suspicion about his claim. Officers expressed frustration at the repeated RTI applications and representations at different fora without discharging their duty,” Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu noted. He said the Commission also has spent several days in hearing his appeals on the same subject.”It can be inferred from non-response to requests from Chief Security Office and others to submit original proofs of ownership of so called stolen good that appellants have nothing to say about burglary. Any more consideration of their appeals will cause wastage of time of the public authorities including CIC, which means the loss of public money,” he said. While Acharyulu rejected the appeals, he expressed concerns over reports of theft in the JNU. “This is a matter of serious concern. Though it is not possible to strictly construe that JNU should be vicariously liable for crime of burglary directly, there is a general responsibility on the authorities of JNU to take measures to prevent these incidents and to strengthen security and if there is any lapse in such prevention the authorities will be vicariously liable according to principles of tortuous liability,” he said. Acharyulu said the Commission recommends JNU to disclose on their official website and also inform the staff residing in the campus about the preventive measures taken including community policing, process of seeking compensation and time frame etc for the same, as soon as possible.

Effigy burning row: NSUI warns of nationwide protests if action is taken after JNU probe

New Delhi: The student wing of the Congress party, NSUI, on Thursday warned of country-wide protests if any action was taken against it for burning an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 11 October.

Representational image. Firstpost/Tarique Anwar

Representational image. Firstpost/Tarique Anwar

“We will launch country-wide protests if any action is taken against us after the probe. We have done nothing wrong,” NSUI leader Sunny Dhiman told IANS.

On 11 October, Dhiman along with other students had burned a multi-headed effigy at the Sabarmati Dhaba inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus.

The effigy’s heads featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sadhvi Prachi, BJP President Amit Shah, Asaram Bapu and Nathuram Godse, besides others.

A probe was ordered on Wednesday by the JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar.

“The effigy burning incident at JNU was brought to our notice. We are investigating the matter and examining all relevant information,” the university head had tweeted.

One of the heads on the effigy depicted the Vice Chancellor.

“The Vice Chancellor is indulging in witch-hunting of Dalits and Muslims, instead of protecting their rights,” Dhiman told IANS, while confirming that although the probe was ordered but no notice was served.

“No one raised any objection when former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh‘s effigy was burned. They are selectively targeting us this time,” the NSUI leader said.

He said that effigy-burning is a routine affair in JNU.

“We chose the day of Vijayadashami as it was on this day that BR Ambedkar adopted Buddhism and RSS was founded. We wanted to give them (BJP) a message that their discriminatory politics – Gau-Raksha politics will not work anymore,” he said.

“Why do we need permission for any protests? This is not North Korea but a democratic country,” Dhiman added.

There are a few other students who were issued notices in the past for effigy burning, but NSUI was not involved then.

As Sharif and Hafiz Saeed turn ‘Ravan’ across India, some JNU students burn Modi-Shah effigies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, 26/11 mastermind Hafeez Saeed and heads of several other militant organisations were the faces of Ravana effigies burnt on Dussehra across the country, a section of JNU students chose the visages of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah to represent the demon king and burnt his effigy. The act might backfire on them considering the university administration’s decision last week to order a proctorial inquiry into the effigy-burning of the Gujarat government and ‘gau-rakshak’ (cow vigilantes) and to issue show-cause notices to the students concerned.Members of the Congress-affiliated National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) celebrated Dussehra last night by burning the effigy of Modi as Ravan, claiming that it was a protest against the Centre’s “failure” in honouring its promises and the continuous attacks on various educational institutions across the country.Besides Modi and Shah, the effigy had faces of Yoga guru Ramdev, Sadhvi Pragya, Nathuram Godse, Asaram Bapu and JNU Vice-Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar. The students also carried placards with the slogan, ‘Truth shall prevail over evil’.”The effigy-burning was to symbolise our dissatisfaction with the current government. The idea is to root out the evil from governance and bring about a system that is pro-student and pro-people,” said Sunny Diman, an NSUI activist and the outfit’s candidate in the recently-concluded JNUSU polls. “Look at what this government has done to our country. The promises it made are still on paper and are repeated only in speeches. Whenever students want to raise their voice, they are attacked by the administration, certainly on instructions from the government. This Dussehra, we wanted to put an end to these rubbish activities,” he added.The effigy was burnt at the famous Saraswati Dhaba on the JNU campus. University officials, when contacted, were tight-lipped about whether the students had sought a permission for the event or not. PTI GJS RC SK RC

JNU hypocrisy: No room for courses on Hinduism at premier university

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is in the news again, but this time the national media has treated the news scantily. It has not paid enough attention to the fact that those who were agitating early this year to protect their right to dissent in JNU are now the suppressors of ideas coming from others who are not their “own”. For them, the university will do or practice what they want. It is they who will decide what is to be taught and how the university should be administered. Needless to say that these “dissenters” are mostly the so-called leftists and secularists; dissent for them means that they have the exclusive right to oppose things they do not like, but they deny the same right to those who disagree with them.

Anita Singh, a JNU professor, has told DNA that she was abused and attacked inside the university campus by a group of students, instigated by the Left-dominated students union and teachers association, while she stepped out of the meeting of the university’s statutory decision-making body, the academic council (AC), late on 7 October. Abused as a “sanghi”, Singh, who is the dean, School of Law and Governance, told the paper that she earned the students’ ire because, “I had presented the proposal for introducing a disaster research programme in the university for a trans-disciplinary programme, the talks for which have been going on since 2011, and that has already been passed by five standing committees. But the JNUSU thinks that any new innovation is ‘bhagwakaran‘(saffronisation) and I was attacked as soon as I stepped out.”

File image of the JNU campus. JNU website

File image of the JNU campus. JNU website

Singh has spoken about the events that took place outside the AC meeting. But what happened inside the AC meeting was equally gratuitous. Here, in the name of “secularism”, the majority rejected a proposal of the University Grants Commission (UGC) of introducing three short-term courses in Indian culture and yoga. According to the UGC’s proposed draft, the course on Indian culture aimed at expounding the importance of the country’s culture as well as exploring the etymological, social, spiritual, cultural and mythological aspects and establishing Indian values in the world. “The course will contain the texts, thoughts and traditions of different cultures and include things like religious systems in Indian culture among others. Besides, it will have portions from Vedas and selections from epics and Jatakas and suggestions on readings of Hindu epics like the Ramayana,” the draft read. It was argued in the draft that Indian culture cannot be understood without the help of “Indian literature, which is generally written by sages”.

Now, if JNU, one of India’s foremost universities, refuses to teach Indian culture and yoga with the logic that it would lead to promotion of Hinduism in a secular country, then where else can one study Hinduism in India, where 80 percent of the population happens to be Hindus? And here, I came across a report in the Hindu, dated 13 July, 2013, that said that one Subadra Muthuswami, who had a Master’s degree in public health from Columbia University, hoped to pursue her interest in Hinduism when she returned to India. “Since I am in India, I decided to do research to understand why we practice rituals and rites in Hinduism. But I understand that no university offers a comprehensive course in Hinduism studies,” she told the paper.

Subadra discovered that the University of Madras had programmes in Vaishnavism and Indian philosophy, but not on “Sanatan Dharma” (Hinduism) as a whole, even though the university “has separate departments for Christian and Islamic studies”. She was told by senior professors that “universities are secular places where Hinduism as a religion cannot be taught. Sources in the university said when the department wanted to offer a paper in yoga (which is also a shastra) last year, the move was opposed on the grounds that it was endorsed by a political party.”

One fails to understand that how a university that has departments on Christian and Islamic Studies considers offering a paper on yoga, let alone Hinduism, will tarnish its secular character. As a result, in India one can study Hinduism — and this was what Subadra discovered — only in private or spiritual organisations like Swami Shivananda Institute, Chinmaya Mission, Iskcon and Vedanta Academy (Mumbai).

In contrast, let us the situation abroad. I just did a Google search to find western universities offering courses on Hinduism and Indian culture. And this was what I found. The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies is a recognised “Independent Centre” of Oxford University. The principal aim of the Centre is “the study of Hindu culture, religion, languages, literature, philosophy, history, arts and society, in all periods and in all parts of the world.” Cambridge University teaches Vedanta, Vyakarana and Sanskrit philosophy along with Buddhism. London’s School of Oriental and African Studies offers courses on “Indian philosophy, especially Vyākaraṇa and Mīmāṃsā, Sanskrit philology, Sanskrit scientific literature.” In fact, many British universities such as Sussex, Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh have departments on Theology and Religious Studies that teach, among others, “Sāṅkhya and Pātañjala Yoga.” Sweden’s Stockholm university has courses on Indian Philosophy, especially “Nyāya and Buddhism.” In Brussels (Belgium), “Vrije Universiteit” (Antwerp FVG, Faculty for Comparative Study of Religions) teaches Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Indian Philosophy, especially “Vedānta schools and Kaśmīr Śaivism.” University of Vienna (Institute of South Asian, Tibetology and Buddhist Studies) has programmes on “Sanskrit philosophy, Āyurveda and Sanskrit philology.” There are many universities and institutes in Germany that give special emphasis to Sanskrit, Indian philosophical texts and Indian religions, including “Veda, Pāli and Epics”.

Coming to the US, Concordia University States has a chair in Hindu Studies that is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of Hinduism. There is the J Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University that studies Hinduism. Case Western Reserve University has a department on South Asian religions. So has also Emory University. Then there are famous professors like Wendy Doniger at the University of Chicago who has written many books on Hinduism, some of them controversial though.

The questions that emerge from the illustrated list (not exhaustive) above are this: Are these western educational institutions having departments of theology and offering courses on comparative religions communal? If not, how can the Indian institutions offering courses on Hinduism or related subjects like yoga be branded communal, that too in a country where 80 percent of the people happen to be Hindus? And thirdly, if our “secularists” consider the book on Hinduism (which has shown the religion in negative manner) by American Indologist Wendy Doniger, a Professor of “Religions” in an American university, a great scholarly work, why cannot they promote similar scholarly works in Indian universities? Is it not double standards to applaud work on Hinduism by foreign scholars in foreign universities but deny the Indian scholars to work on the same subject in Indian universities?

File image of JNU students protesting on campus earlier this year. PTI

File image of JNU students protesting on campus earlier this year. PTI

In fact, as the recent development in JNU has proved once again, our so-called liberals and seculars, who dominate the country’s education system, will leave no stone unturned to foil any attempt by any university in India to introduce courses on “Religions”. They will have nothing to do with the promotion of a “dead language” such as Sanskrit. Even any elective, repeat elective, course on “Vastu Sashtra” will be dismissed (as it happened in a Madhya Pradesh University some years ago) as attempts towards “saffronisation”. But minorities can pursue studies on their respective religions. As a result, what we see today is that the Muslims children learn about Islam and the Quran in Madrasas and the Christian children learn the essence of Christianity and the Bible in educational institutions founded and managed by them. Under the Indian Constitution, the minorities are allowed to have their own educational institutions and the certificates or degrees thereof are recognised legally.

In contrast, the children of the majority of the Hindu community do not have such facilities. Even at the school-level, whenever there are attempts to teach the children about the Ramayana, the Mahabharata or the Gita, the “secular brigade” makes a lot of hue and cry. And ironically, all these elements, who dominate the Indian academia and media, will want books critical of Hinduism to flourish in India but they will advise against the circulation of anything that is critical of other religions.

Such are their double standards!

JNU professor abused and attacked inside campus

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Jawaharlal University (JNU) Professor, Amita Singh, was allegedly abused and attacked inside the university campus by a group of students while she stepped out of the university’s academic council meeting late night on October 7.Claiming to have been abused and called a ‘Sanghi’, the professor has lodged a complaint naming three faculty members on Sunday evening and blamed the JNU teachers’ union (JNUTA) for instigating students to engage in the attacks. The teachers claimed to have no knowledge about the incident, and the students named in the complaint said they ‘only raised slogans’.”I stepped out of the academic council meeting late Saturday evening, and was immediately surrounded by around 20 students. They started calling me out, abusing me, calling me “sanghi” and didn’t even let me move. When I, along with the JNU registrar and proctor tried to get into our car, we were stopped and surrounded by the students who started banging on the car. Some of them even laid down in front of the car,” Professor Amita Singh, who is the Dean of School of Law and Governance, told DNA.As per Singh, the proposal to introduce a new programme in transdisciplinary research was what earned her the students’ ire. “I had presented the proposal for introducing a disaster research programme in the University for a transdisciplinary programme, the talks of which have been going on since 2011, and that has already been passed by five standing committees. But the JNUSU thinks that any new innovation is ‘bhagwakaran’ and I was attacked as soon as I stepped out.,” she added, blaming JNUTA for instigating the students.In her complaint, Singh has named three professors from the University – JNUTA President Professor Ajay Patnaik from School for Russian and central Asian studies, Professor Ayesha Kidwai and Ajith Kanna from School of Language, Literature and Culture studies – as those who instigated the students. While Professor Patnaik said he had no idea about an attack and had left the meeting premises 45 minutes ago, Professor Ayesha Kidwai said the allegations were unfounded.”JNU teachers don’t attack each other, or instigate students to attack fellow teachers. I am not even an academic council member,” said Kidwai. Professor Kanna claimed that he did not know Singh.The Professor has also named some students as being involved in the act.Manikanta, one of the students told DNA, ” We did raise slogans and surround the professor, but there was no violence involved at any point of time.”JNUSU President, Mohit Pandey, also claimed to have no knowledge of any incident “We were inside the meeting where we are supposed to sit as observers. I have no idea about any such occurrence,” he said.University teachers had also met the Vice Chancellor (VC) on Monday, demanding that immediate enquiry be held into the incident and show cause notices be issued to all. The teachers have also asked the VC to ensure that no students are allowed around the location of the meeting.Since the February 13 incident, when Delhi Police had arrested the then JNUSU President, Kanhaiya Kumar, following protests in the university campus against the hanging of the 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, the university has been on a boil with small skirmishes between groups acquiring ideological colours.

Rise above politics: Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma on JNU rejecting yoga course

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the JNU Academic Council rejecting introduction of short-term course in yoga, Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma called for rising above politics on Monday when it comes to the ancient Indian art, saying it is being accepted all over the world.”We are here for the people who support yoga… When we talk of yoga, everybody should rise above politics,” he said after a press conference to announce ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav-2016’.He was asked about the decision of the top decision making body of Jawaharlal Nehru University. Sharma said yoga is an individual’s choice and not a “compulsion” on anybody. He said yoga is being accepted all over the world and it was a moment of pride for India when International Yoga Day was declared by the United Nations.International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21, the date suggested by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Academic Council (AC), the statutory decision making body of JNU which had been in the centre of controversy over anti-India slogans, has rejected a proposal regarding introduction of short-term courses in Indian culture and yoga second time.The proposal to introduce three short-term courses in these subjects had come last year against the backdrop of right-wing organisations, including RSS, insisting on propagation of culture in educational campuses to promote India’s rich heritage and restore its cultural identity.On Modi’s decision to celebrate this year’s Dussehra in the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Sharma said, “Modiji is Prime Minister of the whole country. Wherever he wish, he can go. UP is also part of India. (Earlier) he had celebrated Diwali in Jammu and Kashmir and this time he is going to celebrate Dussehra in UP.”Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav took a dig at Modi for his decision to attend the Dussehra festivities in Lucknow, saying “had there been elections in Bihar, he would have slain Ravana there”.

PM Modi resorting to ‘jumlebaji’: Kanhaiya Kumar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All India Students Federation (AISF) leader Kanhaiya Kumar on Sunday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he resorts to “jumlebaji” (false promises) to divert the attention from core issues.”Acche Din and bringing back black money issues are mere ‘jumlebaji’. This is done to divert attention from core issues. The society cannot be benefited till politics of vote bank is pursued,” Kumar, former president of JNU students union said.”When we talk against Modi, were are labelled as traitors,” Kumar said. He said “division” of society on the basis of caste and creed should be stopped.”Raising issues of love jihad, ghar vapasi and beef will not help. Attempts should be made to eradicate poverty and unemployment. No alternatives should not be found in politics but politics of alternatives should be done,” he said.

PhD student rape: JNU asks students, staff to be vigilant

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking serious note of the alleged rape of first-year PhD student on Sunday, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has advised students, staff and teachers to remain vigilant against such incidences, adding that the administration does not tolerate such incidents and resolves to take appropriate measures to prevent them in the future. In an advisory, the JNU authorities said, “The University always stands for dignity of the individual, respect for women and democratic values. It is in this light that the JNU administration strongly condemns the incident of heinous rape in a hostel on the campus on August 20. This has completely shaken the JNU Community and has tarnished the image of the university. The administration does not tolerate such incidences and resolves to take appropriate measures to prevent them in the future. The entire JNU community stands with the victim,” the university authorities added.On Sunday, the PhD student accused an All India Students’ Association (AISA) activist, Anmol Ratan, of raping her, taking a serious note of the allegation, the organisation expelled Ratan from the primary membership, stating that they stand by the complainant in her fight for justice.”AISA takes serious note of the fact that Ratan, a leading activist of AISA, is facing a criminal complaint of sexual assault. He is, henceforth, expelled from the primary membership of AISA. AISA will reflect on and deal with this issue with all the firmness it deserves,” said Ashutosh Kumar, AISA’s Delhi State Secretary, in a statement.Following the complaint by the 28-year-old victim, the Vasant Kunj (North) Police Station registered a case in this connection under sections 376 (punishment for rape) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).Police are investigating the matter.