New Delhi, Nov 4: Political leaders from across the spectrum tore into BJP on Thursday during a protest meet organized by JNU Students Union (JNUSU) over a missing student in the campus.
The Administrative Block, also known as Freedom Square in campus, was thronged by more than 1,000 students, who turned up to express their solidarity with Najeeb Ahmed. Ahmed, an M.Sc Biotechnology student at JNU, went missing on the night of October 14-15 after being beaten up by a mob of around 20 students alleged to be from Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the RSS student wing.
The ABVP students had gone to Ahmed’s room in Mahi-Mandavi hostel to canvass for the post for Mess Secretary and were later seen beating Ahmed by other hostellers.
“I am shocked to the core after seeing the bereaved mother. I wanted to say a lot related to things that are going in the country, but won’t do so now,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in his address.
The Aam Aadmi Party however, lambasted the Bharatiya Janata Party, accusing it of being a communal party, which only feigns solidarity with Hindus.
“BJP doesn’t care for Hindus or Muslims. It is only after power and wealth, and if need be its party members are capable of betraying their own,” he said.
Kejriwal urged the students to take their protest outside the campus and promised them his support.
“Let’s sit at India Gate and appeal to the entire country to fight for Najeeb,” he added.
Ahmed has been missing for almost 20 days now. A special Investigation Team (SIT) was also formed to trace him by the Vasant Kunj (North) police.
His mother Fatima Nafees was also present at the protest and broke down at one point when Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was speaking.
“A mother’s tears are more powerful than any words a politician can ever say,” Tharoor said after giving a considerable pause while Ahmed’s mother was crying.
“I am silenced by her tears,” he said.
Tharoor also demanded a dedicated and thorough inquiry for the search of Ahmed.
“We are all here because something wrong has happened. And not enough is being done to right that wrong. We demand a thorough search, serious investigation in this matter. Those who have let this happen should check their conscience,” he added.
Communist Party of India-Marxist leader and an ex-student leader of JNU Prakash Karat also criticized the central government for its high-handedness and said that the country is going through an “undeclared Emergency”.
“(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi at a media event asked citizens to be wary in future so that no political leader is able to clamp Emergency again. But one cannot help but marvel at what was happening in Delhi while he was saying those words,” Karat said referring to the detentions of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Kejriwal when they went to meet the family of an ex-army-man, who committed suicide over One Rank One Pension (OROP).
Former Union minister and Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar also spoke at the event and accused BJP of giving its patronage to ABVP for spreading hooliganism.
“ABVP could not have done so without BJP’s support,” he said.
“From top to bottom, from Modi to a lowly police constable, everybody is complicit in doing nothing to trace Najeeb,” he added.
The father of Minhaj Ansari from Jharkhad was also invited at the protest by the JNUSU. Ansari, 22, had died in police custody on October 9, allegedly by police torture, after he was arrested on the charge of spreading “objectionable messages” on Whatsapp.