38 days later, still no sign of Najeeb: JNU students' protest hits the streets

It's around 4 pm on Wednesday, 23 November. Over 50 men and women - students from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have gathered near Delhi's Mandi House.

Within minutes, the atmosphere is filled with slogans like 'Najeeb ko vapis lao (bring back Najeeb)', 'Delhi Police hai hai (down with Delhi Police)', 'Grih mantri hai hai (down with the Home Minister)' and 'Hamara Najeeb kahan hai? (where is our Najeeb?)'.

People travelling in buses peep out of the windows to catch a glimpse of this commotion. Gradually, the group of students starts its journey, which concludes at some distance from Parliament House. Students from Jamia Millia Islamia and the Aligarh Muslim University have also joined the protest.

Najeeb Ahmad, a first year MSc Biotechnology student from JNU, has been missing since 15 October. There was an altercation between him and four ABVP activists just a day before his disappearance. The probe conducted by the University Proctor has blamed a student named Vikrant for the incident.

Students have been protesting for the past 38 days, both inside and outside the JNU campus. Najeeb's mother Fatima Nafees and his sister have also been participating in the agitation. They are also a part of the crowd gathered on Wednesday.

Fatigue is clearly visible on the faces of these students. Najeeb's mother is standing with moist eyes. Her tears have barely stopped flowing ever since her son went missing.

All she can say is, "Mere Najeeb ka pata bata do...koi to bata ki mera jawan beta kahan chala gaya..wo to yahan padhne aaya tha (somebody please tell where my son is...where is my young son... he had come here only for his studies)."

There is still some hope these questions would be answered some day. For now, they hang heavy in the air.

Edited by Shreyas Sharma

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