New Delhi: Members of JNU Students Union (JNUSU) on Saturday burnt an effigy of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and varsity Vice Chancellor M. Jagdesh Kumar for failing to trace Najeeb Ahmed, a student missing for 28 days.
The effigy which bore the title ‘Home Minister’ and ‘JNU VC’ was set on fire at the campus administration block, also known as Freedom Square.
The protest was attended by about 100 students at which an appeal of ‘Chalo JNU’ was also announced by JNUSU President Mohit Pandey.
“We will intensify the protests now. Almost 50 campuses are with us… and while burning this effigy here, there are many which are being burnt at other places as well,” Pandey said at the protest.
He also mentioned the proctorial inquiry report which acknowledged that Ahmed was beaten by the BJP-affiliated ABVP members Vikrant, Sunil, Ankit and six others on the night of October 14-15.
“Although they (the varsity administration) have finally admitted to what we have been saying since day one, they have merely issued those students a ‘show cause’ notice.. even police interrogates us more than the accused in the case,” Pandey said.
“We should take our cue from American citizens and raise the slogan ‘Not my VC’, ” he added, referring to the ongoing backlash in the US after Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential polls.
Ahmed’s cousin Sadaf Musharraf told the students about a police visit at their house on the previous night.
“They asked us to make an appeal to Najeeb to return home and to give an assurance to him that he will be safe. Is that they have come up with after almost a month’s search?” she said.
“They spent all the time in figuring out ‘what’ is Najeeb, instead of ‘where’ is Najeeb,” she added.
Dalit leader from Gujarat, Jignesh Mewani, who was responsible for rousing an agitation among the lower castes after Una Dalit flogging, also exhorted the students to take a pledge to persist with movement.
“Take a pledge to make this movement more aggressive, more desperate and to take it out on the road,” he said.
Accusing the Narendra Modi government of failing to arrest the accused, he hit out at Modi, saying: “If he cant do even that, he should be ashamed of himself and throw himself off a cliff.”
“RSS, and ABVP have gained a lot of arrogance since BJP coming to power at centre. We need to destroy their arrogance, ” he added.