News was never a priority for the Ahmad household, comprising a working father, four children studying hard and a devoted mother. But things changed after October 15, when their eldest son, Najeeb Ahmad, went missing from JNU.
The family said Fatima Nafees got a phone call at 2 am on October 15 from her son Najeeb (26). “Ammi, I have got into some trouble, please come to Delhi.”
He had recently joined a master’s programme in biotechnology at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
Najeeb allegedly had an altercation with three members of student outfit Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) at 11: 30 pm. The trio later called 12 others who thrashed Najeeb allegedly in front of the hostel warden.
“He was very close to his mother. He shared everything with her,” said Nafees Ahmad, the father. “She became very worried and decided to take the first bus to Delhi.” The father, who finds it difficult to move after an accident, stayed back.
At 11am, Fatima called Najeeb on reaching Delhi. “Come to the university. I am in my hostel,” Najeeb told her. An hour later, when she reached room 106 of Mahi Mandavi Hostel, she couldn’t find him.
Najeeb has been missing ever since. His mother is in Delhi, running from pillar to post to finding her son.
“Nobody slept that night, we called our relatives in Delhi, everybody was crying,” said Haseeb Ahmed, 22, youngest of the three brothers.
The next morning, Nafees Ahmad went to the nearby news stall and bought three newspapers. He watched news on television all day. The family is hooked to news since.
Najeeb cleared Class 12 with first class and coached in Kota for medical entrance test. When he couldn’t crack the exams, he joined a bachelors course in biotechnology at a private institute in Bareilly,60 kilometres from Vairo Tola in Badaun, where the family lives.
Haseeb says Najeeb was a diligent student and made few friends. “Ammi was his closest friend.”
“Najeeb always scored between 75-80%,” remarked Najeeb’s teacher, Dr Ravi Deval. He cleared the entrance test of four respected institutes, including JNU (he was ranked two in all India rank in his category), for further studies earlier this year.
He initially joined Jamia, but later shifted to JNU. “We knew that the environment of JNU was too political but we never imagined a person as simple as my son would become its victim,” said Nafees Ahmad. He alleges that Najeeb was kidnapped by ABVP members to settle scores after the skirmish.
“I pray to ABVP with folded hands to forgive my son and let him return to us. We will not file any complaint against the kidnappers or anybody involved in the kidnapping if Najeeb is safely returned to us. I am ready to give this in writing,” appealed the father. He sat on a cot in the courtyard of the house, a newspaper beside him with a picture of Delhi Police dragging Najeeb’s crying mother.