The JNU administration has finally issued a bulletin on what it has done so far in trying to trace Najeeb Ahmad. This bulletin shall do nothing to allay the fears of the campus community that the JNU administration is willing to play fair and genuinely reassure Najeeb of his security on the campus. There are many points which JNUSU and JNUTA will object to in this bulletin, but I will restrict myself to just one.
At the heart of the matter is who committed the violence on the 14th of October. By the warden’s report of the 15th, it was only Najeeb, who is said to have admitted his mistake of striking a fellow student without any provocation. Just yesterday, 83 teachers of JNU had pointed out that in a context that Najeeb had been allegedly beaten (as per several eyewitnesses who have also lodged a complaint), such an admission of culpability cannot be said to have been made in free and fair conditions. Further, the warden’s enquiry should have recorded his complaint with regards to the alleged beating he received. This beating is in fact referred to in the second letter from the Mahi-Mandavi wardens on the 16th, but no persons are named as the ones charged. All this is a gross miscarriage of justice.
This bulletin clearly indicates that the JNU administration is still proceeding with the ‘Najeeb-as-accused’ narrative. It has completely suppressed all reference to the contents of the wardens’ letter of 16 October and takes no cognisance of the fact that eyewitnesses have clearly named the alleged perpetrators of violence and abuse against Najeeb. However, there is NO MENTION at all of the counter allegations throughout the report; indeed if anything, the aim of the whole exercise seems to be to avoid naming them. Indeed, even the terms of reference of its own proctorial enquiry have been vaguely worded (another shortcoming that JNUTA has repeatedly pointed out to the administration in the course of the HLEC).
We are in utter despair here at the cynicism of it all. Using Najeeb’s family’s concerns to push for CCTVs and surveillance is despicable, but even that is not as bad as this, as the message from the bulletin is that the JNU administration will not do even a single action that may assure Najeeb that JNU is a place in which he may be safe.