Protests in Delhi's Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU) turned volatile today morning, six days after a student went missing after an alleged brawl between him and activists of the right-wing student organisation, Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), which is backed by India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Najeeb Ahmed, a Master's student of biotechnology at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, went missing after being "beaten up" on campus. While his parents await his return, the Delhi Police have announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for anyone who can provide information with regard to the 'kidnapping case'.
The incident has triggered massive protests in the varsity. JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar tweeted on Wednesday night that he, along with other officials, was 'physically confined' in the varsity premises by protesting students.
"We have been locked inside the building since 2.30 PM. There is a female colleague with us who is unwell as she is diabetic," Kumar was quoted as saying by Indian daily DNA.
While he assured that the varsity administration was trying to find the missing student, the vice chancellor, while talking to the Indian news agency ANI, said that the move by protesting students was 'unfortunate' and illegal.
We met JNUSU leaders explained to them our sincere efforts in locating the missing. No relenting. It is 2 am. We are still confined.
"We are also concerned that Najeeb Ahmed is missing. We have talked to police also but gheraoing me and other officials is wrong. Students have gheraoed us since 2.30 p.m. yesterday. We had to sleep on floor and there is no food to eat. Students are not even allowing wives of officials to meet," he told the news agency today morning.
The protesting students, however, claimed that the officials were free to walk over them. The JNU students union defended its stand claiming there has been no "illegal detention"
"We have not illegally confined anybody in JNU administrative building. Electricity and all kind of supplies are here. We have also sent food for people inside," Mohit Pandey, President, JNU students' union was quoted as saying by DNA.
Meanwhile, ANI reported that no trace of missing Najeeb Ahmed was found even on the sixth day after he went missing.
Ahmed was allegedly assaulted by ABVP activists on October 14 during a mess election campaign at Mahi-Mandvi hostel. He went missing the following day. It's also pertinent to mention that hours after the brawl, an emergency meeting held by the warden at 12:30 AM pronounced Ahmed guilty and expelled him from the hostel “with immediate effect.”
According to students, he left the hostel without his wallet, mobile and even his footwear, ANI reported.