New Delhi, (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday told JNU students to take their protest over a student who went missing 20 days ago to India Gate to spur the government into action.
“Najeeb (Ahmed) will come back only with the help of people’s power. I appeal to all of you that we will have to take this movement out of JNU campus and bring it into the mainstream,” he told students at the JNU.
“Let’s sit at India Gate and appeal to the entire country to fight for Najeeb,” Kejriwal said, addressing hundreds of students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. “I am with you and will join you in the protest.”
An M.Sc Biotechnology student at JNU, Najeeb went missing on the night of October 14-15 after allegedly being beaten up by a mob of 20 students, who had gone campaigning to his room in connection with hostel elections.
His attackers were said to be from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), which is affiliated to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The ABVP has denied any involvement in Najeeb’s disappearance.
“The day Modiji realises that the vote of youths is slipping away, Najeeb will come back in two days,” the Aam Aadmi Party leader said to a huge round of applause.
He said if the ABVP was involved in Najeeb’s disappearance, then a fair investigation cannot be expected from Delhi Police, which reports to the central government.
“The ABVP suspects have not been questioned by police,” the AAP leader said.
Police say they are doing their best to locate Najeeb but his family and fellow students have accused the authorities of inaction.
Urging the gathering not to view Najeeb as a “Muslim”, Kejriwal accused the BJP of polarizing the society.
“The BJP wants the society to be divided into Hindus and Muslims. We will have to tell people that they (BJP) are not loyal to anyone be it Hindu or Muslim,” Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal, who this week met Najeeb’s mother, said he had written to Home Minister Rajnath Singh about the missing student and promised to meet President Pranab Mukherjee too.
“The message is very clear. ABVP, BJP and RSS will unleash their goondagardi. Anyone who raises his voice will not be spared,” he said, and referred to his own detention on Wednesday by police after he tried to meet the family of an ex-soldier who committed suicide.
“None of you are doing a favour by fighting for Najeeb… Tomorrow my child can go missing too.”
Also present at the gathering were Congress leader Shashi Tharoor and Mani Shankar Aiyar as well as CPI-M’s Prakash Karat, a former student leader at JNU.