On the night he went missing, Najeeb Ahmed asked his mother to reach the campus of the Jawaharlal Nehru University immediately, saying "something bad has happened". His mother rushed to the campus, but by then the School of Biotechnology student had disappeared.
The Telegraph reported that Ahmed was thrashed by ABVP students who had come to room 106 in Mahi hostel around 11.30 pm on Friday to canvas for votes, following an altercation during which Ahmed is said to have slapped one of the candidates. The students allegedly rained blows on him, locked him up in the washroom and blocked the entrance to his room till hostel warden, Sushil Kumar, reached the spot.
The three ABVP students, including Vikrant Kumar, who is contesting for mess secretary, have told the police that Ahmed allegedly slapped one of them and have denied any role in the student's disappearance.
Ahmed reportedly told the hostel warden "he could not remember" when asked to write down his version of events. Kumar meanwhile said Ahmed lashed out at him for "wearing sacred threads."
According to The Indian Express, his mother was assured by his roommate that everything was under control at 2 AM on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday.
"I spoke to him again Saturday at 11 am, from Anand Vihar Railway Station, and told him I was on the way, but when I reached the university around noon, he was gone. His mobile phone, wallet, everything was in the room. Now, I sit holding his mobile, hoping he will call me any minute," she said.
Meanwhile, the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) have called for a "total shutdown" and "non co-operation" following the incident, according to Express.
Various student groups staged protests yesterday, joined by Ahmed's mother and local guardians who alleged they were not informed by the administration about him going missing.
The JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA) has also condemned the use of the term "accused" by the university for Ahmed.
M. Jagadesh Kumar, the Vice-Chancellor of JNU tweeted out this statement that referred to Ahmed as an "accused".
Statement from Dean of Students' office on Mahi-Mandovi hostel incident in JNU. pic.twitter.com/2mP8xpng6g— M. Jagadesh Kumar (@mamidala90) October 17, 2016
"The JNU security has been instructed to immediately look for the missing student. The dean gave a written instruction to all wardens to search hostel rooms. Police also visited the campus and investigated the matter. The administration is in constant touch with police to facilitate the investigation," the statement said.
The left-affiliated groups on campus accused the RSS student wing ABVP of making attempts to "terrorise" the student community.
"There are repeated efforts to terrorise the student community in the Mahi-Mandavi hostel continuously. Yesterday, a wardens meeting to prepare a report of the incident was also repeatedly disrupted by ABVP members," a statement by the JNU Students Union said.
Ahmed had joined the hostel only a fortnight ago.
The activist alleged, "It all started with a scuffle between two groups of students but then an entire group of ABVP activists came to avenge it and beat him up," the activist said. All those who tried to save him, including the warden, JNUSU President and hostel residents were also beaten up.
(With PTI inputs)