Published: 21st November 2019
Najeeb's mother 'Ammi' visits protesting students at JNU, lends her support
The JNU Students' Union has also called for yet another march to the Parliament on Saturday, November 23. And this time it's a call to the 'concerned citizens' to join in
Fatima Nafees, the mother of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, met the protesting students at the university on Thursday and expressed her solidarity towards their fight for education for all. Najeeb, a first-year MSc Biotechnology student, went missing under suspicious circumstances on October 15, 2016, from his hostel in the university campus and is still missing.
Fatima, or Ammi as the students like to call her, condemned the alleged police brutality and said that everyone in India needs to raise a voice against such atrocities. "It's not just about JNU, AMU or Jamia, students across the country need to join hands and strengthen the movement. The authorities think that they can stop the students with brute force but these youngsters need to prove otherwise," said Ammi. "They are not asking for something out of the world. All they want is affordable education and it is our responsibility to give it to them," she added.
"Najeeb's Mother Fatima Nafees has come to meet the students who are fighting to save public-funded education," said former JNUSU President and the newly appointed National President of All India Students' Association (AISA), N Sai Balaji. "The battle to save JNU is to save the right of poor, marginalised and oppressed to get proper education. Education is a right and we will have to assert and fight for it," he added.
The MHRD appointed 'high power' committee that is supposed to visit the university on Friday, November 22, might also face a mass demonstration from the students. Though they have decided on a final course of action the JNUSU Vice-President Saket Moon confirmed that the students will hold demonstrations in the university when the committee members visit.
The JNU Students' Union has also called for yet another march to the Parliament on Saturday, November 23. And this time it's a call to the 'concerned citizens' to join the students. The JNUSU called for the Citizens' March from Mandi House which is set to start at 11 am on Saturday. Their demands remain the same. They want the fees to be rolled back to what it was. They are also protesting against the fellowship cut, decrease in education budget etc in institutes like JNU IIT and DU among other universities and even schools in India. They are also protesting against the New Education Policy and wants affordable and equitable education for all. This, the students said was a call to save public education.
The JNUSU met the 'high power' committee appointed by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development on November 20 to discuss the demands of the students and restore normalcy in the varsity. Even though the ministry claimed that the students have agreed to their appeal, the students said that there is no question of backing down from their demands unless the Vice-Chancellor or the administration takes cognisance of his actions and accepts their demands.
The JNU Students' Union President, Aishe Ghosh said that the students want their VC to address their concerns, "We will definitely ensure that normalcy is brought back on campus. But first, we need the VC to talk to us and we need assurance from the university or the MHRD that the hostel manual and fee hike will be taken back — a complete rollback."
The entire students' council met the newly appointed three-member committee constituting former UGC Chairman, Dr VS Chauhan, AICTE Chairman Dr Anil Sashasrabuddhe and UGC Secretary Dr Rajnish Jain.
"They listened to all our demands and also agreed with us that there needs to be a dialogue but they had no answer when we asked them why the VC and the Registrar denied appearing in front of an MHRD-appointed committee," said Apeksha Priyadarshini, a member of Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students' Organisation (BASO) at JNU. "The committee said that the Deans have had a meeting with them. But that's it. The VC and the Registrar did not appear," she added.