Najeeb’s disappearance: why is ABVP opposing police’s lie detector test?

​Following a three-day search operation, two ABVP activists and Najeeb’s roommate Qasim have been called for lie-detector test.

Zainab Ahmad | Courtesy: INUTH

More than sixty days and multiple interrogations later, there isn’t any trace of Najeeb Ahmad, the first year M.Sc Biotechnology student in Jawaharlal Nehru University, who has been missing since Oct 15.

Following a three-day search operation conducted in the campus, two ABVP activists and Najeeb’s roommate Qasim have been called for lie-detector test and further interrogations. Early this week, expressing annoyance over the police intervention in the campus, Saurabh Sharma, JNUSU Joint-Secretary went on a Twitter spree. He questioned the Krantikaaris for not opposing the occurrence, unlike the February 9 incident. It shall be noted that the raids were conducted following a high court order, which was not the case in the former case.

While everyone claims to extend full co-operation, there are certain questions that have left us all puzzled since Najeeb disappeared.
Why so “co-operative”, ABVP?

Ever since the investigations were initiated, Saurabh Sharma, JNUSU Joint-Secretary, claimed to co-operate fully to find Najeeb. However, Sharma Ji seems to have changed his mind after the Police raided the JNU campus with sniffer dogs and horses. Also, as the High court ordered to conduct the lie detector test on nine JNU students, including Najeeb’s roommate, Qasim. While Qasim and a few people agreed to take the polygraph test, ABVP activists Vikrant Kumar and Ankit Roy seems reluctant. Though Saurabh Sharma told inUth that both of them are out for vacations and will take the test once they are back, it remains to be seen if he sticks to his word till the end of vacations. Also, are vacations more important than a finding a person? Meanwhile, Sharma Ji has also demanded that students like Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid should also be probed. “Why aren’t they (Police) interrogating JNUSU President Mohit Pandey, Umar Khalid, Shahla Rashid, Shahid Raza and JNUSU ex-president Akbar Chowdhury? They were the ones who had breakfast with him before his disappearance.” However, since the matter has been adjourned till Jan 23, 2017 by Delhi High Court, it seems like Vikrant and Ankit can enjoy their vacations.

Why did the Police act so late?

How come the entire police department, even after being directed by the home minister, was unable to trace a 27-year-old student? Why didn’t they take the action from day 1 rather than beating students at peaceful protests? Why did it take them 60 days to search the campus while they were quick to react to the February 9 incident? Why was searching the house of professors important? While JNUSU President Mohit Pandey called the Police “puppets of the central government”, Shehla Rashid stated that the court shamed the police into conducting the intense search operation while speaking to inUth. And even after their ‘combing’ operations for 2 days with over 600 Police personnel along with a dozen sniffer dogs and mounted police at the campus, including hostels, classrooms, and forested areas to search “Najeeb’s body”, they failed to get any clue. No arrests have been made. None of the prime accused have been interrogated.

Why are there multiple ”last seen” theories?

While Najeeb’s mother, Fatima Nafees claimed that he was at Safdarjung hospital a night before he disappeared, Delhi Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Najeeb Jung, claimed in November that as per an information, he was seen in Darbhanga town, Bihar. Also, as per the IANS report, an auto driver claimed to have dropped Najeeb from the JNU campus main gate to Jamia Millia Islamia campus, 15 days after Najeeb’s disappearance. Where was the auto driver all this while? Why did he come out in the open so late? Confused much?

Who slapped whom?

While Najeeb was blamed for slapping Vikrant by ABVP and Vikrant and other ABVP students for beating Najeeb, the row over “who slapped whom” seemed to have diverted the whole issue. It was never about a  brawl between two students but about a student disappearing from a university in broad daylight.

Why was the college admin so reluctant?

In an interview with NDTV, Najeeb’s mother, Fatima Nafees, and sister Safia Ahmad repeatedly claimed that M Jagadesh Kumar, Vice-Chancellor of JNU refused to meet them and file a FIR against the ABVP students who had reportedly beaten Najeeb. Wasn’t it his responsibility to meet them and take a proper action? Also, JNU’s proctorial inquiry appealed Najeeb to return back, hence assuming that he had gone hiding or missing on his own. Why such assumptions without finding out the truth first?

The usual opposition in campus politics would have ensured fingers being pointed at ABVP. But what seem to be strengthening the case against them are their actions, which appear loose and contradictory. While several unanswered questions extend beyond the political frame, it isn’t about opposition politics anymore but about the safety of students in their own colleges.

— With inputs from Saptaparno Ghosh

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