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JNU Students Unhappy Over Union's Decision to End Blockade, Najeeb Ahmad Still Missing

Representative image: Students at a protest in JNU

Representative image: Students at a protest in JNU

As soon as the meeting concluded, JNU vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar was released along with other officials after being confined to their offices for 24 hours.

New Delhi: The students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) were outraged at the JNU students union's decision to discontinue the blockade of the administration building on Thursday. The decision led to a division within students on the method of protest to be adopted demanding justice for Najeeb Ahmed.

Najeeb Ahmad, an MSc student at Jawaharlal Nehru University, has been missing from Mahi Mandavi hostel after he was allegedly attacked by ABVP activists. His family has been trying to trace him since the past six days.

The four Union members - Mohit Pandey (President), Amal PP (Vice president), Shatarupa Chakravarty (General Secretary) and Tabrez Hasan (Joint Secretary) - held a meeting with the Vice Chancellor and demanded that the administration file a police complaint in the concerned case. They further demanded strict action against the ABVP activists who attacked Ahmad.

As soon as the meeting concluded, JNU vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar was released along with other officials after being confined to their offices for 24 hours.

JNUSU also decided to change their mode of protest and dissolved the gherao. The movement that coalesced the students suffered from a divide over the mode of protest henceforth. Angry at the decision, some students shouted slogans against the union.

A faction of the protesting students joined a separate meeting at the administration block to look into the future course of action to continue fighting for Najeeb Ahmad.

"We are demanding that the administration file a complaint against the people who attacked Ahmad, but the JNUSU has betrayed us in this fight by ending the gherao,” said Dawa Sherpa, a student leader.

“We are here to plan a new course of action to fight for justice," Sherpa added.

One of the protesters at JNU said that 200 students have been protesting for the past 24 hours and it took the JNU Students Union no time to dilute the struggle.

General Secretary Shatarupa Chakravarty tried addressing the crowd to clarify the Union’s decision, but angry students didn’t heed his words. Students also demanded the JNU students Union President to report to them, but he stayed away from the agitated students.

However, before holding a meeting with the VC, JNUSU President in a statement said that it has been six days and Najeeb is yet to be back to the campus.

"There is no information about him. JNU administration has been running away from its responsibilities,” he said.

The statement further mentioned that the students waited at the Admin block throughout the night. “There was no concrete response from the VC on our demand to bring back Najeeb Ahmad and take action against those who beat him up," he said.

Former JNUSU President Akbar Chowdhury, however, said: "There is no divide on campus. There is disagreement over the mode of protest. Union will take the protest forward by holding a demonstration at home ministry. JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) is not with us in the blockade."

Another student supporting the union said, "We need teachers’ support in fighting for justice. Since they don't stand for gherao we have to find other ways."

first published:October 20, 2016, 21:53 IST