Mohammad Azeem, cousin of Najeeb Ahmed who went missing in October last year, speaks to TNM.

No more Rohith Akhlaq or Najeeb Missing JNU students cousin makes a plea at UoHImage credit: Facebook/Joint Action Committee for Social Justice -UoH
news Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 15:37

Three months and three days after JNU student Najeeb Ahmed went missing, his cousin Mohammad Azeem was at the University of Hyderabad to mark the first death anniversary of Dalit student Rohith Vemula.

Najeeb Ahmed, a student of biotechnology at JNU, went missing on October 15 last year, allegedly after an altercation with members of the ABVP. The student’s family has alleged that he was being held captive, and have been protesting along with several students of JNU to find him.

Speaking to TNM, Mohammad Azeem said that the family has been counting days ever since Najeeb went missing. “He joined JNU on October 1. He hardly had any idea about college politics, or what right wing and left wing mean,” Azeem said.

It is alleged that on the night of October 14, Ahmad slapped ABVP activist Vikrant Kumar. In a fight that followed, Najeeb was allegedly beaten up, along with JNUSU president Mohit Kumar Pandey, and Shahid, a resident of Mahi-Mandvi who witnessed the altercation.

“After the fight, they (ABVP members) threatened that he would not see the sunrise next day, and it turned out be true for him.They beat him in front of everybody but no action was taken,” Azeem says.

Najeeb went missing the next day. Describing his cousin as a ‘mamma’s boy’, Azeem said, “He had no friends, actually he never needed any. He used to share everything with his mother. But he did not tell her anything about what happened. Only he knows what happened that day.”

Azeem also says that Najeem was constantly in touch with his mother and brother till the morning of October 15.

“His roommate called his mother and informed her about the fight. When he next talked to her, he sounded suspiciously silent and depressed. My aunt, Najeeb's mother Fatima, then decided to go to Delhi to meet him. When she reached Delhi in the morning, she called Najeeb and asked him to stay in the hostel while she reached him. But when they reached there, Najeeb was nowhere to be found. Nobody knew where he went,” he explains.

After that, Najeeb’s mother Fatima’s life changed forever. Azeem says that Radhika Vemula and Fatima both are fighting for their sons.

“Both have been struggling to fight for justice for their son, both the women are strong. That’s how we can relate to Rohith Vemula’s family and their plight. We believe there should not be any other Rohith, Akhlaq or Najeeb in this country,” he said.

“Between Najeeb, Rohith, Akhlaq and Una lynching case, one thing which is common is that  RSS ideology has targeted all of us. And government don’t seem to care about the issue,” he said.

Azeem along with Najeeb’s brother Haseeb arrived at the University of Hyderabad to mark the first death anniversary of Rohith Vemula, whose suicide sparked nationwide debate on caste discrimination in educational institutions.

“We wanted to contribute to the fight. It’s been one year since Rohith Vemula died, but what did the government do? Nothing! We will fight till we get justice for our family and all those families who lost their loved ones, who have been targeted by the Modi government. They have been targeting Dalits, Muslims and Adivasis, and turning a blind eye to our plight. But now we are saying enough is enough!” Azeem said.

 

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