Farooque Alam, a physically challenged PhD student at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi who was allegedly assaulted at the Kaveri Hostel on Wednesday, has issued a statement on the incident.
Alam is also a senior National Students' Union of India (NSUI) activist. He reportedly joined JNU ten years ago as a BA student at the Centre of Russian Studies and was in the last lap of his PhD degree.
The NSUI and the JNU's Students' Federation of India (SFI) unit have alleged that members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad were involved in the assault. The NSUI has called for a Resistance Rally on September 9 at 8.30 pm to protest against the incident.
“In a horrific incident in Kaveri hostel today, a senior warden of Kaveri hostel and their domesticated ABVP goons attacked NSUI activists and our senior activist Farooque Alam who is a physically handicapped research scholar in JNU,” NSUI tweeted.
The student was taken to Safdarjung Hospital after the incident on Wednesday.
Farooque Alam, who has been part of several student movements, was reportedly asked to vacate his hostel room because of an old pending case in the Delhi High Court. Indian Express quoted a source who said that a proctorial enquiry was set up four years ago against the student following his participation in an agitation against fee hike.
He said, "I have been falsely accused of a misconduct by the Proctor's Office and this has led to my eviction from Kaveri hostel. It seems that these allegations, which I firmly believe to be baseless and vehemently deny, are linked to a prior incident and have resulted in my unjust suspension from the university."
Farooque Alam said that he had gone to the Senior Warden of Kaveri hostel and the Proctor's Office to seek an extension as his case was still sub-judice in the court. He went on to add that during his absence, "Gopal Ram, the acting Senior Warden along with guards and hostel residents affiliated with ABVP forcibly entered my room, broke the door lock and proceeded to remove and discard all of my personal belongings out of my room."
When the student returned to his hostel after finding out about the situation, he was "subjected to mistreatment and manhandled by members of ABVP and the Hostel Office In-charge. Two of the ABVP members pushed me down aggressively, leading to a loss of consciousness. I was subsequently hospitalised, thanks to my friends and comrades."
As a physically challenged student especially, this traumatic act left me emotionally devastated and shattered, Farooque Alam said in his statement.
He said that he found statements defaming him after being discharged from the hospital and hence he drafted a "comprehensive statement to provide clarity on the actual sequence of events", hoping "truth will come to light and justice will prevail in this distressing and unjust situation."
Farooque Alam also added that he has never been alleged of criminal cases, cases of sexual harassment, or ragging.
Meanwhile, Edexlive reported that "for the past 1.5 years, the university has been trying to damage Alam's image and send him notices to harass him." JNU ABVP Secretary Vikas Patel told Edexlive that they were not involved in the incident.