Umar Khalid criticises JNU ‘inaction’ in Najeeb case

Umar Khalid  

Student leader Umar Khalid came down heavily on the administration of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for its “inaction” in taking up the issue of Najeeb Ahmed, a student who went missing last week after he was allegedly assaulted by students affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

“The Vice-Chancellor says it is a minor issue and students are unnecessarily politicising and communalising it. Whereas it is the ABVP that is communalising it,” Mr. Khalid told The Hindu, during his visit to the city to participate in a national seminar organised by the Indian National Social Action Forum on ‘Shrinking Democratic Spaces and Rising Corporate Hegemony’. He alleged that Najeeb was beaten up in full view of the hostel warden, university president and hostellers on October 15 night. He has been missing since then.

Najeeb was allotted a hostel only 10 days ago and joined JNU three months ago. Stating that the university also has a responsibility towards the student, Mr. Khalid said the administration had not filed a police complaint (and only the family and students had) and have not taken action against those who attacked Najeeb.

“We are demanding that the attackers be made out of bounds from the hostel pending enquiry, so that witnesses can depose without fear of intimidation. But it has not been accepted. This shows the impunity ABVP enjoys within campuses,” he said. “In universities where student movements have been banned, it is the ABVP that calls the shots now.”

Mr. Khalid, who does not demand a ban on ABVP, said the present resurgence of student movements across the country should be sustained “so that forces like ABVP and RSS are isolated politically and ideologically.”

Talking about his post on Burhan Wani, which kicked-off a controversy, he clarified that he was not comparing Burhan Wani with Che Guevara. “The only point I was making was that even the biggest army in the world cannot fight a population that is not frightened of death. What is happening now is that people are not allowed to think and not allowed to express. Ideas and thoughts are becoming criminalised,” he said.

Speaking about Kashmir, he said both India and Pakistan have “betrayed the people of Kashmir.” He said that in a democracy, “all institutions of state are open to questions, including the army. We are not living in medieval times.”

Speaking on Balochistan, Mr. Khalid said he supports all the “oppressed” nations and nationality movements. “If someone born in Pakistan stands with Kashmir but is silent on Balochistan it is hypocrisy. Similar is the situation if a Chinese stands with Kashmir but against Tibet. Similarly, it is hypocrisy if the Prime Minister speaks of Balochistan but carries on brutalities in Kashmir,” he said.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2021 4:33:09 PM |

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