The atmosphere on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus continued to be tense on Wednesday with no new information available on the whereabouts of Najeeb Ahmad who went missing on October 15 night.
Agitated students, who gheraoed the Vice-Chancellor and senior officials in the administration block in the afternoon, stayed put till late at night refusing to budge. Najeeb’s mother Fatima too continued her vigil outside the administration block hoping for her son to return.
Pamphlets carrying photographs of Najeeb and asking people to come forward with any information they may have also been distributed in residential colonies around the university.
For its part, the students’ union is planning to knock at the door of the President and the Lieutenant-Governor to help locate the missing student.
Stating that administration was extremely tense about the whereabouts of Najeeb, JNU Vice-Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar appealed to the university community not to politicise or communalise the issue in the wake of reports that some sections were trying to do so.
“This is not a criminal issue. It was an incident that occurred during an election campaign for the hostel mess committee. For the interest of JNU, the community and the country, we should not politicise it,” he added.
JNU Rector Chintamani Mahapatra said their first priority was to find Najeeb at the earliest for which they are in constant contact with the police as well as the campus security, and second, to investigate the alleged violence at the Mahi-Mandavi hostel through a proctoral enquiry.
“Violence at JNU is very rare and when an event like this occurs, there are many versions of what happened. There is a need to probe the incident before coming to any conclusion. There was a large gathering of over 150 students that night and we need to investigate the issue under the rules of the university,” said Mr. Mahapatra.
JNU Chief Proctor said he has appealed to all students to come and depose before him with any statements, eyewitness accounts and other information regarding the hostel incident. He has also sent notices to 10-12 students to come depose before the committee so that a fair investigation can be carried out.
Asked if there was any CCTV footage showing Najeeb leaving campus, the V-C said the CCTV camera installed near the gate was of very low resolution.