* Massive protest held in Delhi against the disappearance of missing Jawaharlal Nehru University student Najeeb Ahmed
* Former Janata Dal (U) President and central minister Sharad Yadav demands answers from the CBI
* JNU Students Union President Geeta Kumari slams the central agency saying it’s trying to save accused ABVP members involved
Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — Voicing grave concern over the inexplicable delay in tracing the missing Jawaharlal Nehru University student Najeeb Ahmed, former union minister and former president of Janata Dal (U) Sharad Yadav on Saturday demanded that the Central Bureau of Investigation must report whether Najeeb is dead or alive. Slamming the BJP government at the Center, he said it is for the first time in history that a student disappeared from a world-famed university campus. It should be a challenge to the government and the CBI, which was given the task by the court to find out the missing student.
Yadav, who addressed the agitating students of JNU and other universities sitting on the protest since Friday in front of the CBI headquarters here, said we have raised the Najeeb issue in Parliament and it is unfortunate that the Delhi Police and the CBI have failed to trace him so far.
“Hum janna chahtey hain ke Najeeb ko haqa kha gayee ya dharti kha gayee aur hum es zulam ke khilaf larengey.” (We would like to know where Najeeb has disappeared or whether he is dead or alive? We will fight against this injustice), he said.
Yadav said he has personal concern for Najeeb as he had contested three parliamentary elections from Najeeb’s hometown Badaun (UP) and he would continue to take up the matter in Parliament and other forums.
Meanwhile, the CBI, which yesterday refused to speak to Najeeb’s mother along with the agitating students, assured that it would investigate all the nine ABVP members accused by Najeeb before his disappearance.
Najeeb, a first-year student of M Sc Biotech, was last seen alive on October 14, 2016 in the Mahi-Mandvi Hostel in JNU. Before his disappearance, he had been brutally attacked and beaten by members of the ABVP, the student wing of the ruling BJP and the RSS.
Talking to Caravan Daily, Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees said that the DIG of Delhi Police and the CBI officials have assured her that they have been probing the matter with all angles and that they are not under “any pressure” from any side to carry their job.
Reposing faith in the court and the system, Nafees said the agency official also asked us to suggest new leads in the case. In response to a question that the agency announced Rs 10 lakh reward for information about Najeeb, she quipped it is old announcement and renewed just before the court hearing to show that the agency is not sleeping.
“Such rewards don’t work. It is difficult to get reward money from the police. I can offer Rs 20 lakh if someone gives any lead about my son by selling my whole property,” Nafees said.
She also said the Delhi Police had prevented her from writing down the names of the ABVP students who assaulted her son when she went to register a police complaint on October 15 last year.
CBI Under Pressure
JNU Student Union President Geeta Kumari slammed the CBI saying it seems to be under pressure to save accused the ABVP members involved in the disappearance of Najeeb. Speaking to Caravan Daily, Geeta Kumari said the agency refused to share details of the progress in the case maintaining that it will give this to the court in an envelope on Monday.
She pointed that the agency had announced the cash reward for information about Najeeb just before the hearing of the case that reflects its intention. She also criticized the JNU administration for not initiating any steps to unearth what happened or transpired with Najeeb, she said adding that the JNU Proctor’s Report suggests the role of four students belonging to the ABVP.
The security personnel and Warden too have testified to the violence against Najeeb perpetrated by students of the ABVP. She also pointed out that it is being alleged that the Vice-Chancellor had changed the contents of these reports. Geeta Kumari was in the delegation which met CBI officials.
Najeeb’s sister Sadaf Musharraf also said that the JNU Administration and the VC till date have not given her and her mother time for a meeting.
Another delegation member, Mohit Pandey, a former JNU Student Union President, told Caravan Daily that the agency should interrogate all the nine accused ABVP members if they refused to go for the lie detector test.
Meanwhile more than 700 students have staged a sit-in outside CBI’s headquarters for the past three days. They raised slogans against the Modi government and Police and alleged that the CBI is not working properly because of political pressure.
“From the beginning the police role was to protect the ABVP, not tracing or finding Najeeb; the Police did not even write the names of those ABVP students named and identified for beating Najeeb in the FIR. ABVP leaders have not been questioned and no sincere steps have been made in locating Najeeb,” a senior JNU student said on the condition of anonymity.
Many also questioned the conduct of the CBI saying it has been totally irresponsible in handling the case. “For over three months no statements of witnesses have been recorded. The one year experience shows that no agency under the BJP government will ever reach the truth of the matter since the ABVP is involved,” said another student.