Students lock up JNU vice-chancellor, senior officials over missing youth
The protests in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) over a missing student turned volatile on Wednesday with students blocking the administrative building and locking up the vice-chancellor and other officials, demanding an FIR in connection with the case of a student who is missing for five days.
The JNU students’ union said students had gathered at the gates of the campus and won’t move unless their demands are met.
“We demand an FIR from JNU’s side. All students involved in violence should be declared out of bound. We have even sent plates of food for the officials as they are not coming out,” said Mohit Pandey, president JNUSU.
An official who was inside said, “They have locked us inside. This is an unlawful activity. The VC, rector, dean of students and other officials are locked inside. The rector went to talk to the student but nothing came out of it.”
A student of School of Biotechnology, Najeeb Ahmed, allegedly went missing on Saturday. The JNU students’ union has alleged that students belonging to RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad had beaten him up while other students alleged that Ahmed had slapped a student.
Earlier in the day, officials said that more CCTV cameras will come up at the campus to ensure safety of the students in the aftermath of the recent incident.
“The main gate has a low resolution CCTV camera. It will be replaced with high resolution camera soon. This isn’t for surveillance, but for their security in the changing circumstances,” said rector Chintamani Mahapatra.
Vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar added, “The CCTV cameras will be installed at all important locations inside the campus.”
He said that the university’s primary concern is to find the missing student. “The other issue is about the alleged violence that happened in the hostel. Chief proctor is investigating the matter,” he said.
At least 12 students have been asked to depose before the proctorial committee in regard to the alleged violence at Mahi-Mandvi hostel on October 14, officials said.
JNU had on Tuesday requested the central agencies, including National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) and CBI for help. “We have asked students and teachers to give any information regarding Najeeb,” registrar Pramod Kumar said.
Meanwhile, JNU teachers’ association (JNUTA) and JNUSU criticised the administration for calling Najeeb an accused in an official press release.
“Rather than criminalising the student, the administration needs to send a signal that there will be an impartial inquiry in the incident,” said Ajay Patnaik, president JNUTA.
JNUSU said it will be meeting the Lieutenant Governor and President in connection with the case.
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 family.