AMU Students’ Union all set for ‘Rail Roko Andolan’ on Najeeb’s disappearance

Sarim Ashrafi | 30 December, 2016

#RailRokoAndolan
#BringBackNajeeb
In a bid to intensify the ongoing protest against disappearance of JNU student Najeeb for almost last seventy days and administrative apathy of the state, Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union (AMUSU) is all set to stage a huge #RailRokoAndolan at Aligarh Railway Junction.
In an appeal to AMU students at large, Chairs of the Union exhort students to participate in huge numbers peacefully. The appeal pasted on notice boards of various halls of residence, hall canteens and premises of Maulana Azad Library portray Rail Roko Andolan as a kind of pressure tactic to pressurize state machinery to beef up their otherwise lull attempts towards locating Najeeb. “Through this Rail Roko Andolan, we want to create pressure on the Government of India and Delhi Police to trace and bring back Najeeb”, says the appeal.

 

Rail Roko Andolan shall start from Maulana Azad Library Canteen at 11.00 am on  31st of December, 2016. After reaching the Aligarh Junction at 12 noon, trains blockade at Delhi-Howrah route shall continue till 5:00 pm.
Asked on the question of inconvenience that this particular move of AMUSU will result to a number of people traveling on this very busy route, President Faizul Hasan said, ‘ours is not motive to put others in trouble. It is high time that we make the state remember democratic ethos that our forefathers laid in the Constitution. We are just trying to save those ethos and values.’
Student Leaders addressing the students on 27the December | Photo: Facebook
‘Democratic institutions when made to work in a faltering way, they only give rise to fascist tendencies. We must be very vigilant against any fascistisation of India, —India of Bhagat Singh, Ambedkar, Gandhi, Nehru, Maulana Azad and  others’, says Naved Ashrafi, a researcher at Department of Political Science AMU.
Decision of RailRokoAndolan was taken in a protest at University Circle late in the evening on 27th December.
‘This is a bold move by the AMUSU. When autocracy and intransigence rules, ‘strolling of anguish’ becomes indispensable’, says Sharjeel Usmani, a student of Political Science Honours.
On 29th December, a room-wise distribution of a handbill was also done by the AMUSU which reads as follows:

 

Join AMU Students’ Union Rail Roko Andolan on 31st December, 2016 at 12 p.m. onwards


Ensure Justice for Najeeb

It had happened in Chile, in Kashmir and numerous other places that have witnessed fascist regimes and their aggressive onslaught. Relation between fascism and disappearance go back in history. Under fascist regimes people have simply disappeared. They have been silently erased from their existence. It has been more than seventy (70) days of despair and dwindling hope. One of the students of JNU, Najeeb Ahmad is still not back to campus safely.

Let us not lose focus of the raw facts. Najeeb did not simply disappear because he was ‘clinically depressed’ as is projected by the police and the administration. A situation of extreme terror and intimidation was calculatedly created the night before he disappeared. He was brutally assaulted and almost lynched by a mob comprised of well-known Sanghi lumpens of Mahi-Mandavi hostel. The violent lumpens, not only brutally beat him but also openly threatened to kill him. The wardens witnessed that along with scores of other students. But instead of taking action against the goons, the JNU administration implicated Najeeb himself!

The testimonies of several other witnesses who saw the attempts to lynch Najeeb were squarely ignored by the hostel administration on that night! Such open prejudiced action, along with the blatant hooliganism by the Sanghi lumpens was the context in which Najeeb disappeared! And the administrative apathy continued and intensified even after that! They kept calling him the ‘accused’, refused to file an FIR from the institution taking responsibility of a missing student, displayed criminal negligence and insensitivity towards his family members and most importantly they have so far refused to take any action against the identified goons who assaulted Najeeb.

Political Shielding of ABVP: Earlier, the Proctorial Committee Report found the perpetrators guilty of assaulting Najeeb and assaulting him on communal grounds. Then the V-C who is clearly shielding these goons, whose targeted attack on Najeeb created the context of disappearance, constituted another ‘fact finding committee’ bypassing the earlier report and the latter stated that there was a minor scuffle between two students’ group erasing the involvement of ABVP lumpens who assaulted Najeeb that night.

We need to understand that the attack on Najeeb and the subsequent administrative apathy are a part of the larger communal fascist design to attack universities and campus democracy. The students have not communalized the issue, the ABVP lumpens with their targeted violence and the administration at the behest of the V-C in shielding them, has in-fact communalized it under diktats of their masters. Their prejudice is communal, so is their apathy. Despite Najeeb being a Muslim, the attack on him is not merely a ‘Muslim issue’. Like the attack on Rohith Vemula was not merely a Dalit issue. These issues are part of much larger assaults by the communal fascist regime to destroy the progressive university spaces and their democratic and inclusive character. It is an attempt to teach all of us—the oppressed, the exploited, and dissenting voices—a lesson!
Now, it is not only the JNU administration but the police too are thoroughly half-hearted in ensuring justice for Najeeb. The police have done nothing to bring back Najeeb till now. The forming of SIT and increase in reward from Rs. 50, 000 to 10 lakhs have been a tokenism on the part of the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the Delhi Police. They did not use basic strategies like using sniffer dogs right after Najeeb was reported to be missing for which Delhi Police was reprimanded by the Delhi High Court. At the same time Delhi Police has not been competent enough to inquire the ABVP lumpens or to put them on lie-detector test which was directed by the court itself.

Today when we are faced with the worst assault of fascism, we need to resolutely assert, agitate, and unitedly make these handful of lumpens and their administrative masters bacjtrack. We have fought back spectacularly and right now it is one more attempt to gag our voices and university spaces. We need to once again hit back at the fascists and send a message across that we stand strong. We must ensure that Najeeb comes back safely and the goons who had made him disappear are punished.


#RailRokoAndolan
#BringBackNajeeb
Sharjeel Usmani

Sharjeel Usmani

Sharjeel Usmani is student of Political Science Honors at Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh