I am demanding nothing else but my son, says Najeeb’s mother

Three years have passed since Najeeb Ahmad, a student of M.Sc at JNU went missing from the campus. An inconsolable Fatima Nafis, Najeeb’s mother, is still nurturing a hope of her son’s return

Fatima Nafis, Najeeb’s mother 
Fatima Nafis, Najeeb’s mother

Amir Malik

Najeeb Ahmad, a student of M. Sc (Biotechnology) at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) went missing on October 15, 2016 from his hostel barely hours after he had spoken with his mother. Najeeb had had an altercation with, and been beaten up by activists of RSS students wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists, on October 14 night.

The police, shockingly, did not even treat the ABVP activists as suspects, neither did it provide call detail record (CDR) to Najeeb’s family.

Fatima Nafis is going to stage a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Tuesday, October 15 to reiterate her demand to the Narendra Modi government of finding out the whereabouts of her son. She spoke to NH:

What happened on October 15, 2016?

Najeeb called me on the night of October 14, 2016 at 2 a.m. saying, ‘Ammi, I have been beaten up by three boys and Qasim (his roommate) has brought me to hospital’. Qasim told me over phone that Najeeb was refusing to get treated and wants to come over to me. I left home (Budaun) to come to JNU. I talked to him on the way.Also, I asked Qasim and other students not to leave him alone.

What was your last conversation with Najeeb?

Last conversation that I had with him around 10:30 am on October 15. He told me, “Do not worry, you come, I am waiting for you.” I reached after 12 p.m. the same day, Najeeb was not there.

You approached the police, what did they say?

When I approached the police, they told me to not mention any names in my complaint.They assured me they would find out Najeeb ‘within 24 hours’. ‘Do you want your son or the names to be mentioned?’ The policemen’s words echo in my ears even today.

Mujeeb (my other son) kept telling me, Ammi, let the names be written, but I gave in to the police demand. However, the other complaint filed by the then JNUSU president Mohit Pandey in the case named nine ABVP members as accused.

What happened to the accused?

They roam free. Why does the court not ask the police as to why they did not let us mention the names, why can’t they be named now? Najeeb was brutally assaulted by them. Despite 23 eyewitnesses deposing in the primary inquiry against the accused held by the varsity which found them guilty of assaulting Najeeb and abusing him on communal lines, they were not arrested. Even the warden of the hostel was witness to it. He told me that even he was beaten up along with Najeeb. Is it not enough for the police to arrest them?

Were the police sympathetic towards you?

No, on the contrary the Crime Branch of the Delhi police has harassed our family members. They went to my parents’ home with over 50 policemen, broke the door and barged into the house. My old father was there, completely unaware of what was happening.

They also went to Najeeb’s cousins’ place in Mumbai and harassed them. They took my brother’s mobile phone. Also, they took the laptop of Najeeb’s friend and never returned it. They summoned my brother to Crime Branch office in Rohini and interrogated him. As if we are the culprits.

What occurred when the case was transferred to the CBI?

The CBI officers assured me that we have solved such cases, but it takes time,sometimes years to do so. But why did they give up in just 18 months? They closed the case saying Najeeb had gone on his own. But I ask, even if he went on his own or was kidnapped, isn’t it your duty to find out where he is?

Did the CBI provide you the copy of closure report?

They gave it to me only after a year. We had to run from pillar to post to get the copy of the report. I asked the agency to give me Call Details Report (CDR) of Najeeb. In fact, they said that they could give it to the accused but not me. Why? The investigators did not even try to break open the locks of the accuseds’ mobile phones.

They also had issued a lookout notice on Interpol.

They issued an international lookout notice for Najeeb. This implied that Najeeb had fled the country. How dare they say this? If that happened, if he could go out of the country without a passport, the government must step down. It has no moral right to be in power.

He did not go anywhere, he is with them. They have kept him in some jail or a place unreachable to people. I believe the government has kept him somewhere with his name changed. I keep saying that. Why would he hide himself? Has he committed a crime? In fact, I asked the CBI to look for Najeeb with his face, not his name.

I am only asking them to give me my son back. If the government wanted, Najeeb would have been with us.

You have been protesting on Delhi roads, any outcome?

No, nothing has happened. A mother is asking the government for her son. She is demanding nothing else. For asking this, the police has dragged me on the roads, beaten us up, spilled blood and broken bones. It has hurt so many mothers’ heart.

What do you aim to achieve from the protest on Tuesday?

The objective of the protest is to tell the government that even after three years, the demand to bring Najeeb back is notforgotten. The government must reopen the case and hold an inquiry as it happened in Nirbhaya case. I demand that the accused be arrested and Najeeb be brought back to us.

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