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JNU standoff: VC, other officials allowed to leave after 20 hour ordeal, campus remains tense

JNU Vice Chancellor and other senior officials were allowed to leave their offices after being ‘confined’ for nearly 20 hours in protest over missing student Najeeb Ahmed.

India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: October 20, 2016 16:19 IST ]
Students blocked the Administrative block at the JNU campus

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice Chancellor and other senior officials were allowed to leave their offices after being ‘confined’ for nearly 20 hours as hundreds of students blocked the Administrative block at the campus in protest over missing student Najeeb Ahmed. 

Earlier in the morning, Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar warned of action against the protesters. He also said that the administration was doing all it can to trace the missing student. 

"If all our efforts fail, if we continue to be confined like this and if we are prevented from doing our duty, we will have no other option but take suitable action. There is an important academic council meeting at 2.30 PM, and we have to leave this venue and go to another venue at around 2.15 PM," the VC told reporters this morning. 

Students, who were agitating over the alleged inaction of the University in the case of missing student Najeeb Ahmed, had not allowed the VC and about 12 other officials to come out of the building since yesterday afternoon though students and mediapersons had been able to access it.

A student of School of Biotechnology, Najeeb Ahmed, allegedly went missing on Saturday following a brawl on the campus the night before.

Rejecting allegations of inaction, the VC said they had written to the police about the missing student and an inquiry by the university will be expedited and the "guilty" will be punished.

The VC said that several rounds of talks were held with the protesting students to convince them regarding the sincerity of the university to locate Najeeb but they were continuing with their "illegal" activity of holding hostage the authorities.

The JNU students union yesterday defended its stand claiming there has been no "illegal detention".

"We have not illegally confined anybody in JNU administrative building. Electricity and all kind of supplies are here. We have also sent food for people inside," Mohit Pandey, President, JNUSU said.

"The blockade is due to the insensitive way of handling the matter of Najeeb Ahmed -- the violence against him by ABVP which led to him missing from the campus for over five days now and the JNU administration trying to shield the culprits while refusing to lodge an FIR," the JNUSU President said.

Rejecting Pandey’s claim, the Vice Chancellor said that no food or water was allowed in the administrative building as claimed by the agitating students.

"We have no food. Students are spreading lie that they have sent food and water inside which is absolutely false," he said.

Two of the officials, including a diabetic, were, however, allowed by the student to leave the building.

Meanwhile, the situationin the campus remain tense with the left-backed JNUSU and ABVP levelling allegations and counter-allegations. ABVP alleged that there is inconsistency in the statements of the JNUSU president Mohit Pandey and the roommate of Ahmad.

At least 12 students were yesterday summoned by JNU administration to appear before the proctorial committee in connection with a case involving a missing student amid protests by students who claimed Vice Chancellor acted in an "insensitive" manner on the issue.

Delhi Police have announced a reward of Rs. 50,000 for any information on Ahmed.

The police have also constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to trace Ahmed following a direction from Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

"We have formed an SIT under Additional DCP-II(South) Manishi Chandra to probe in the case. We have also informed the SSPs concerned as well as police officers across India and have given out advertisements in newspapers," said Nupur Prasad, Additional DCP-I(South).

Singh called up the Commissioner of Delhi Police and gave the instructions to set up the special team to find the missing student.

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