I, as a student of Jamia and as the convener of Forum for Student Democracy (FSD), question the presence of Lt. Governor of Delhi, Tejender Khanna, as the Chief Guest for the convocation of Jamia Millia Islamia, held on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
Reacting strongly to inviting Mr. Khanna, who refused judicial enquiry into Batla House Shoot out (alleged encounter) in which two JMI students were killed and three others were arrested on grounds of having links with terrorists, FSD has filed an RTI questioning why he was invited to the institute, to whose students he denied Justice.
It should be noted that Judicial Enquiry, as ordered by the NHRC was denied on orders of Mr. Khanna as Lt. Governor of Delhi. The NHRC when asked under the RTI Act had a ready reply: “The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi declined to pass an order for magisterial inquiry in the instant case as laid down under the guidelines of the Commission.”
The RTI has also asked JMI administration to furnish detail of the funds which were collected in name of Legal Aid to the affected students. Around one lakh rupee were donated by the students and ten lakh by then SP leader, Amar Singh, for the families of the arrested student to pursue the cases. Even after around three years, no amount is given to the families of the students.
It is now well known that the Lt. Governor of Delhi, Mr Tejender Khanna rejected the demand for an independent magisterial inquiry into the Batla House Shoot out of 2008. His anti-human rights stand shocked the families of the victims and the larger Muslim community.
How can JMI invite such a person to hand over the degrees who himself has denied right to justice to students of the same institution? JMI students have been falsely implicated in terror cases, The Vice Chancellor Mr. Najeeb Jung who himself has many times expressed solidarity with the families of the victim and has asked for the judicial enquiry is hosting the man who declined it.
The denial of judicial enquiry raises a bigger question: who is the government trying to protect?
The denial of Judicial Enquiry is not only denial of justice but also a serious threat to national security as real culprits of the terror attacks may be roaming free and planning more dreadful attacks?
The citizens of India deserve to know the real criminals and terrorists behind the attacks. Killing innocent students and arresting them in name of terror will never be a solution.
It should also be noted that Mohammad Shakeel, a second-year MA student, and Zia-ur-Rehman, a third-year BA student, were arrested from New Delhi on September 21, 2008 for their alleged involvement in serial blasts. Delhi Police have said they, along with 10 others arrested, were part of the Indian Mujahideen that has claimed responsibility for the serial bombings in the national Capital as well as other cities in recent months.
With this backdrop I have decided to discontinue my study at Jamia Millia Islamia as an M.Phil student. I do not want to study in a university which is becoming insensitive to the demand of Justice.
[Afroz Alam Sahil is an MPhil student at the Centre for the Study of Comparative Religions and Civilizations, JMI, and is also the Convenor for the Forum for Student Democracy (FSD), a student initiative to promote elections in university campuses of India. FSD believes that student elections inculcate the values of democracy, human rights and respect for political opposition in the young minds. He can be reached via email at: [email protected]]