New Delhi: The protest by the students of Delhi’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University against the authorities’ inability to find missing student Najeeb Ahmed got a fresh boost on Monday from the words of the university’s student leader Kanhaiya Kumar.
At the launch of his book, “From Bihar to Tihar”, Mr Kumar, who spent time in jail as an accused in a sedition case, took a dig at the government, saying: “They had such intelligence, they could count the number of condoms that were being used in JNU but they can’t use that intelligence to find out where is Najeeb after so many days.”
The reference was to a comment by BJP lawmaker Gyandev Ahuja, made in February during the protests at the prestigious university. In a comment that had been greeted with derision, Mr Ahuja said, “In JNU daily you find 3,000 beer cans and bottles, 2,000 Indian liquor bottles, 10,000 cigarette butts, 4,000 beedis, 50,000 bone pieces, 2,000 wrappers of chips, 3,000 used condoms and 500 abortion injections.”
The JNU students had been on the warpath since Najeeb Ahmed went missing on October 14 following a brawl in his hostel.
The Left-linked All India Students Association has alleged that before he vanished, Mr Ahmed was beaten up by activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, which is linked to the ruling BJP. The ABVP has denied any involvement in his disappearance.
Over the weekend, hundreds of students holding a protest near Delhi’s India Gate were detained by the police. Najeeb Ahmed’s mother was manhandled and detained as well.
Mr Kumar, a former student union leader of the university, had been jailed on charges of sedition.