At the time of the Batla House encounter, Jamia Millia Islamia's alumni association had made much noise over the welfare of the two arrested students.
One and half years down the line, the noise has grown faint and their promises — of financial aid — to the families of arrested students Zia Ur Rehman and Mohammad Shakeel remain forgotten.
Jamia Old Boys Association is yet to dispense a paisa out of the Rs 10 lakh received from former Samajwadi Party politician Amar Singh to the affected families for legal aid.
On November 13, 2008, Samajwadi Party (SP) had given the association Rs 10 lakh during a public function organised by Kamal Akhtar, a Rajya Sabha member from SP.
This was in the context of the encounter that took place on September 19 in Batla House area of Jamia Nagar during which the Delhi Police had killed two suspected terrorists and arrested two students of Jamia Millia on charges of suspicion.
But now the association denies having received the sum specifically for the arrested students.
“I had written to the Old Boys Association to find out whatever happened to the money that we had read about it in the media. Though they acknowledge its receipt, they have conveniently forgotten its purpose,” said Shakeel's brother Mohammad Farid.
“The money was first offered to the university. But after they turned it down we donated to the association. They should have offered financial help to the families with it. I will have to take it up with them,” said Akhtar.
Rahman's and Shakeel's family are in need of financial help the most right now as they have to bear the expenditure of their trip from their jail in Ahmedabad to their university in Delhi to appear for their final examination.
“Each trip for every examination will cost close to Rs 7,000,” said Farid.
But the Old Boys Association thinks it has done its part for the students.
“We had given the university a sum of Rs one lakh for Zia and Shakeel. But the amount received from the Samajwadi Party wasn't meant for them but for the development of the association,” said Arshad Siddiqui, secretary of the association.