Confusion among students and the staff of Jamia Millia Islamia University gave way to disbelief on Monday as the vice-chancellor’s office confirmed that two of the three suspects arrested on Sunday were in fact enrolled as students with the institution.
The university has suspended Zia-ur-Rahman, a third-year student of BA (Pass) and Mohammad Shakeel, a final year student of MA Economics, and initiated an internal inquiry headed by Proctor Masud Alam. The inquiry report will be presented before the interdisciplinary committee on Tuesday.
“The university proctor scrutinised the records of all the students last night and informed me this morning that two of the three people arrested on Sunday were our students. The students have been suspended for now and a final decision will be taken after the interdisciplinary committee meeting on Tuesday,” said Vice-Chancellor Mushirul Hasan.
Media reports on Mohammad Saif also being a student of the university were, however, tagged as baseless and untrue. “According to a few newspaper reports, Saif was pursuing a course in English speaking here. Our scrutiny has revealed that he is not our student and moreover Jamia does not offer any such course,” said media coordinator Rakshanda Jalil.
Meanwhile, the mood on campus was that of apprehension and disbelief.
“I’ve known Shakeel for more than a year and I spoke to him last on Saturday morning. He is a friendly guy and was working towards being elected as the class representative. He didn’t appear to be an extremist and it’s difficult for me to associate him with such activities,” said an MA Economics student.
“Shakeel was hanging out with a friend on the university campus while the encounter was on in Jamia Nagar. Why would he do that if he was a terrorist?” said another MA Economics student on conditions of anonymity.
The students now fear alienation. The vice-chancellor hopes to address this issue through orientation programmes and interactive sessions.
“I will soon address the students on how we can best deal with this crisis,” said Hasan.