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In Midnight Protest At JNU, Hundreds Surround Vice Chancellor Over Missing Student

NEW DELHI: Delhi’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University witnessed an uproar around midnight as the police got called in to as hundreds of students held protests inside, demanding action regarding a student who went missing four days ago. The police waited inside the campus as the protests continued past midnight. The students, affiliated to the All India Students Association, have refused to allow the Vice Chancellor, Rector and the other officials to leave the administrative building. But they denied that they have “illegally confined” anyone. The students rejected an appeal by the Vice-Chancellor to call off their protest and release them. The students are demanding a dialogue with the University authorities and a written assurance that action will be taken. Claiming that the university authorities have been “unlawfully confined” for over five hours, Vice-Chancellor MJ Kumar in a statement also detailed the steps taken to trace the missing student. Students’ Union president Mohit Sharma said, “We have not illegally confined anybody. You all know the Proctor was outside and he freely walked into the admin building. Electricity and all kind of supplies are here. We have also sent food for the people.” A second round of talks between the Vice-Chancellor and the students also failed. “Agitating JNU students should realise it is wrong to physically confine their own teachers like this. This will only affect our JNU. We tried to go out of admin building at 2:20 am. Agitating JNU Students did not let us go out,” Mr Kumar said. The campus had been all but shut for the last two days as students from both Left and Right held protests and refused to attend classes. Earlier on Wednesday evening, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the BJP, held another protest over the issue. Students affiliated to the Left and the Right are blaming each other over the disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed, a student of the Masters’ course in Biotechnology, who had gone missing on Saturday after a brawl in the campus. On Tuesday, Mr Ahmed’s parents – residents of Badaun in Uttar Pradesh — sat in protest near his hostel. They had come to Delhi after a frantic phone call from their son on Friday night. Left activists say Mr Ahmed had a fight with ABVP activists who were on a door-to-door campaign for the election of a mess committee. Eyewitnesses said he had even slapped an ABVP activist, after which the matter had escalated. On Saturday, he was not seen in the campus. A complaint with the police was filed on Monday, alleging that the student had been abducted.

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