Mumbai: MU students to rally behind missing JNU peer

A month after Najeeb Ahmed’s disappearance, student union demands action against ABVP ‘goons’, while Kalina campus officials term protest a push to revive student politics

The capital, and JNU in particular, has been rocked by protests over the disappearance of student Najeeb Ahmed. File pics
The capital, and JNU in particular, has been rocked by protests over the disappearance of student Najeeb Ahmed. File pics

After Rohith Vemula, it is Najeeb Ahmed to give pace to student politics in Mumbai. It being a month since Ahmed went missing, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Social Justice has organised a protest at Mumbai university on Thursday. And with its demands including arrest of ABVP goons, there are talks in the varsity about the situation expected to get tensed.

Najeeb Ahmed
Najeeb Ahmed

Rallying behind peer
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student went missing a month ago from the institute’s Delhi campus. He had reportedly got into an argument with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members from the campus inside the hostel. Ahmed’s family members and friends have been protesting on the campus since, demanding that he be brought back.

The protest at MU by the JAC will be one of the first initiatives by student organisations in the city in this regard.

Ajmal Khan from the JAC said, “It has been more than a month since he went missing. In spite of evidence of the involvement of the ABVP as well as JNU administration in his disappearance, no action has been taken yet, neither by the police nor the university authorities. Hence, we plan to take out a rally from Kurla west to MU’s Kalina campus. Our demands are: bring back Najeeb, arrest ABVP goons and those who attacked Najeeb, and arrest the JNU vice chancellor among other things.”

Campus politics
A senior official at Kalina campus said, “This will be the first such activity on campus since the news of his disappearance, which has heated up student politics in the capital. With the protest organised at MU, there might be a backlash from the opposite group, but that will only give the Mumbai student politics scene more traction, more members even. This shows how Mumbai student unions have to borrow issues from other parts of the country to gain mileage here.”

“During the Rohith Vemula episode, there had been a range of activities in the city by different student unions. This was followed by the incident at JNU where student leader Kanhiya was arrested on sedition charges... There had been a lull here after that. Now, with this latest incident at JNU, we are hearing noise again on Mumbai campuses. It’s almost as if students don’t care about any city-centric issues, concerning them or the public, to take up… they just don’t an apolitical approach,” said another varsity official.

ABVP defends
City head of ABVP Rohit Chandode said, “All student unions have the constitutional right to register their protest. We will not oppose anyone. We are focused on our work, which will show everybody that we are not goons, and in fact, are doing constructive work, not indulging in caste-based politics.”

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