Najeeb was naive, incapable of attacking anyone: Roommate
Missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed was “very mild-mannered and was always studying”, says his roommate Mohd Qasim, who denies writing a letter to the warden asking that Najeeb be kept out of bounds of the hostel.
Qasim said that he issued another letter since, on October 18, testifying that Najeeb was of humble character.
Qasim, who is studying Arabic in the School of Languages, is also a member of Hostel Committee of Mahi-Mandvi where Najeeb was beaten on the intervening night of October 14-15 and has been missing since.
Qasim said that he did not write the first letter, but “only signed it”. The letter has been doing the rounds on social media.
Qasim said the first letter, was “signed in a hurry” during the tumultuous atmosphere following the assault on Najeeb allegedly by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members.
Najeeb, a 27-year-old student of JNU, was studying MSc Biotechnology. He had got the hostel accommodation just a fortnight before he went missing.
“The first letter was written by a student of the same hostel, who was Election Committee (EC) member during last month’s elections. He wrote the letter while I was trying to assuage the crowd inside the Warden’s office that night. My only priority was the safety of Najeeb as the mob was baying for his blood,” Qasim said.
“It was only on October 17 while going to the Proctor’s office for my deposition that I was accosted by this person, who said ‘Zyada uchchlo mat, ek baar apna letter jaake padhlo’ (Don’t fly so high and read the letter which you have signed). I then read the letter which has so many incongruities and is a far cry from the truth,” he said.
In the new letter, Qasim has testified Najeeb’s character as filled with humility.
“Despite being older than me, he would always talk to me with respect. He had no political affiliations at all. One day he even asked me what AISA (All India Students Association) stood for,” Qasim added.
Qasim expressed dismay over the “false news” disseminated by the electronic media on the first letter without checking its authenticity or cross checking facts. He cast doubts on the political affiliations of the student, who he alleges wrote the first letter, and maintains that being an EC member he ought to have been politically neutral.
Qasim was campaigning for a student Hamid Raza, in the same hostel, for the post of Hostel President, when the news of assault on Najeeb reached him. Qasim also pointed out that hostel warden Sushil Kumar had later acknowledged the attack on Najeeb as a “brutal assault” in a letter to the Proctor on October 16.
In the letter, the warden had also pointed out that among those who assaulted Najeeb were students staying illegally in the hostel and needed to be identified.