JNUSU thanks the students, teachers, staff members, alumni, workers, including guards of JNU, for participating in the solidarity meeting with Najeeb Ahmed’s family at Administration Block yesterday in very large numbers. On the 20th day of his disappearance, several teachers, intellectuals and political leaders came together to express concern at the way in which the JNU administration and the police continue to shield the perpetrators of violence against Najeeb Ahmed. Yesterday, the report of the Proctor office on the 14th October night incident was also expected, but we have not heard anything on this from the administration.
A day after the JNU Vice-Chancellor gave shameful statements to the effect that only a ‘small percentage’ of the students is agitated over Najeeb, yesterday’s massive protest meeting was a befitting reply to the VC’s claims. However, one must ask- what if no one was agitated over the question of Najeeb Ahmed’s disappearance? What if no students were protesting for him? Would that foreclose the need for the VC to do anything about the issue? Would that free the Vice-Chancellor from the duty of ensuring the safe return of Najeeb to the campus? Does that free him of the responsibility of filing an FIR into the case of Najeeb? No, it wouldn’t. Because it is not about mathematics and statistics, Mr. VC- it is about justice.
Yesterday, almost all speakers stressed two basic points- first is the partisan role of the Vice-Chancellor in the whole affair; second, the reluctance on part of the police to carry out any credible invetigation into the matter. Had the University administration formally approached the police and forwarded ALL aspects of the case to the police, had an interrogation of the 9 students mentioned in the complaint forwarded by JNUSU taken place, we might have found out some trace of Najeeb. Had the University administration expressed one appeal to Najeeb, or even publicly denounced the violence, we may have heard of Najeeb. However, any possibility of his return has been blocked by the nexus of the ABVP with the JNU administration and the Delhi Police, backed by the Central Government, which has declared students as its enemy.
JNUSU will try its best to get the issue raised prominently in the Parliament. Over the next week, JNUSU will meet various MPs to get the issue of Najeeb’s disappearance raised in the upcoming Parliament session. JNUSU is also keeping track of the legal measures being taken towards the filing of a habeas corpus petition in the court. A writ petition has already been moved by the lawyer of Najeeb’s family, and JNUSU is working in coordination with the family.
Multiple Cheap Tricks by the JNU Administration
The JNU administration is stooping to the lowest levels to defame and disrupt the students’ agitation. First, by repeatedly crying wolf when confronted by students with some basic questions. Second, by repeatedly churning out show-cause notices and other threat letters to student activists involved in the movement for Najeeb. It is remarkably shameful that the Proctor’s office is busy sending one vindictive notice after another to the student activists, while continuing to shield ABVP members. However, the student agitation is working. First, the VC was forced to stop referring to Najeeb as ‘accused’. Then, he was forced to meet the Commissioner of Police, and was also forced to type out a few token tweets for Najeeb.
The movement seeking justice for Najeeb has spread far and wide, and has clearly shaken the power corridors, despite multiple machinations by the administration and the govt. This has not, however, gone down well with our respected Vice-Chancellor, who is clearly unnerved by the overwhelming presence of various sections of the JNU community in yesterday’s public meeting.
The JNU administration has become jittery and has started revealing its desperation through various cheap tricks. First of all, just before yesterday’s public meeting began, the JNUSU office-bearers were handed down notices rejecting ‘permission’ for holding the meeting. However, JNUSU did not seek permission to hold the meeting, in the first place. So, the question of denying permission does not arise. The move was clearly aimed to intimidate and scare the JNUSU members. However, the JNU administration has long back thrown out the rule book out of the window. It has stopped playing by the rules, and is, therefore, in no moral position to enforce its skewed rule book on anyone else.
Misusing JNU Security Guards as Cannon Fodders
When these threat letters to the JNUSU office-bearers did not work, the administration started a proxy war through the ABVP, using JNU security guards as cannon fodder for the same. The JNU security guards have been paid a P.T.O. bonus less by around Rs 3,500/- as per revised GoI norms. Those security guards who were actively involved in the protests against the assault on a fellow guard, B. S. Singh, by JNU security assistant, Suraj Prakash, have been identified and further discriminated with abysmally low bonus ahead of Diwali. The security guards have been protesting against this injustice, while the JNU administration is inventing excuses to deny their due. A few days back, when the JNU security guards staged a protest against the discrimination and denial of proper bonus, Saurabh Sharma of the ABVP, acting like a sitting office-bearer, intervened and helped the administration in dissipating the protests. He even told the guards that nothing could be done, and that they have to live with the fact of bonus denial.
However, yesterday, when the news of prominent political leaders and public figures coming to express solidarity with Najeeb’s family spread, Saurabh Sharma, all of a sudden, called up the guards and asked them to block the JNU main gate in the afternoon, supposedly over the demand of bonus denial. But, anyone can see the real motive behind this manipulation. His actual intention was to prevent the speakers scheduled to speak at the solidarity meeting from entering the campus. However, this petty attempt was foiled when the guards refused to give in to his plan and asked him uncomfortable questions about the intentions and the timing of the so-called protest.
One must ask: Mr Saurabh Sharma, why don’t you directly ask your friend the Vice-Chancellor to pay the bonus to the workers, instead of egging the workers to ‘protest’ at a time convenient to you?! After all, G4S security claims that it has paid its part of the bonus, while JNU administration has not contributed its part. Why do you not hold a protest demonstration outside the VC’s chamber or his residence, to demand justice for the guards? Wasn’t it the Vice-Chancellor who, not long ago, congratulated the security staff for ‘protecting’ his residence when students had peacefully assembled outside it? The security guards are, indeed, made to do extra work by the administration. Apart from physically guarding various spaces, they are made to act as spies of the administration and shoot videos of public meetings and protest gatherings. Not within their mandate, they are often asked to report the content of student discussions to the administration. However, when it comes to paying the bonus to them on a festival, the JNU administration conveniently says that JNU is not a profit-making institution and needn’t pay any bonus!
The truth is, that the JNU administration, just like the BJP-RSS combine, uses the facade of ‘security’ to put down dissent, and shoots off the shoulders of the security guards and the security forces, while denying them their due. We have seen how army vetera Ram Kishen Grewal lost his life due to the callousness of the government towards the question of One Rank One Pension. Even as the BJP government says that the army and the police are beyond question, that the surgical strikes and fake encounters should not be questioned, they themselves are denying veterans their due disability pension, denying one rank one pension to the ex-servicemen and denying bonus to security guards, in the specific case of JNU.
The attack today is not only on students, but on all those who dissent against the RSS are targeted. The only loyalties of the present central government are to the dangerous, twisted desire of a Hindu Rashtra, and to the corporates who literally run the show today. In the country and campus after campus- from Dadri to Una, from HCU to BHU to JNU- the saffron brigade has declared a war against dalits, Muslims, women and every dissenting voice. Yesterday they came for Rohith, Today they came for Najeeb – tomorrow they can and will come for anyone and everyone else. To borrow from Pastor Niemoller’s immortal poem, if we do not speak for Najeeb today, who will speak for us tomorrow?
JNUSU urges all students to support the ongoing movement seeking justice for Najeeb, as long as it takes, and ensure zero tolerance for such attacks on our lives and liberties. The fight for justice in Dadri, Una, Latehar and HCU has come to JNU. JNU will fight back and strengthen the anti-communal, anti-caste, anti-fascist movement in the country.
We appeal to the JNU students, the JNU community and people to Delhi to join a
United Citizens’ Vigil – India Gate 6 November Sunday, 3.00pm
Why is the JNU VC been continuously shielding the assaulters of Najeeb?
Why has the Delhi Police still not interrogated nor investigated call records of these assaulters?
Why is Central government silent on the failure of Delhi Police, which comes directly under it?
Stand Up against Political Protection to Assaulters of Najeeb!
#BringBackNajeeb #WhatHappenedToNajeeb #JusticetoNajeeb
Mohit, President, JNUSU Amal, VP, JNUSU Satarupa, Gen. Secy, JNUSU Tabrez, Jt.Secy, JNUSU