A 2 year search ends where it began, but where is JNU student Najeeb Ahmad
New Delhi, Oct 16: The Central Bureau of Investigation has closed the case of missing JNU student, Najeeb Ahmad. The agency said that it had decided to close the case as all efforts to trace him yielded no results.
The report has been submitted in the Patiala House court after the agency got permission to close the case by the Delhi High Court. The matter would be heard on November 29.
The case has been on for almost two years now. During the investigation, the CBI had stumbled upon several leads and clues, but none of them led anywhere. The CBI says that it had looked into all aspects.
With the case coming to a close, a pertinent question is where is Najeeb Ahmad. A CBI officer informed OneIndia that various angles had cropped up during the investigation. At times we heard that he had gone abroad and there was also information that he had been staying in the outskirts of Delhi.
The long chase that led nowhere:
It all began with a complaint being registered by Mohit Pandey, the then president of the JNU students union. In the complaint it was stated that nine ABVP members had assaulted Ahmad and threatened him with dire consequences, following which he had gone missing.
Following the complaint and an uproar, a massive team comprising over 500 police personnel was formed. The search began at the campus, following which the team began an extensive operation at the railway stations, hospitals, houses of his friends and relatives.
The teams even combed religious places, but not one clue emerged. The police then began scanning almost all the UDR (Unidentified Death Reported) that had been filed. The search even extended to the various morgues, where the police looked for unclaimed bodies. No result yielded from these searches as well.
On one day the police received a tip-off that he may have left for the Ajmer Dargah. A team was immediately dispatched over there, but nothing came out of here as well. During the course of the investigation, the nine accused persons were questioned extensively, but no clues emerged from there as well.
The tip-offs that never were:
During the course of the investigation, it was decided that the case would now be handed over to the CBI. Once the CBI took over the probe, the agency began receiving several tip-offs. We worked on every tip-off, irrespective of it being actionable or not, the CBI officer said.
The analysis of the CCTV footage suggested that Ahmad had taken an auto-rickshaw from the JNU campus on October 15 2016. After tracking down the auto and questioning the driver, the investigators were told that Ahmad had been dropped off at Jamia Nagar.
The police learnt that the place where he had been dropped off was close to where his uncle lived. A team was dispatched there, but he was not found. The uncle told the cops that Ahmad never came to his place.
The chain broke here since there was no further information available as to where Ahmad had gone from Jamia Nagar in southeast Delhi. No CCTV footage was available at the spot at where he was dropped off.
Another tip-off was received that he had been living in outer Delhi as an ascetic. However this turned out to be a hoax. Several more tip-offs suggesting that he could be in other states such as Bihar and Madhya Pradesh were received, but none of them turned out to be true.
There was also a social media trail during the probe. The police analysed his social media accounts. A technical analysis of his emails and social media accounts suggested that he may have been in Badaun. When a team reached there it was learnt that the email and social media account was being used by a relative.
The agency had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for anyone giving information about Najeeb and informed police chiefs of all state police in the country.
It also received some inputs from Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi where teams were immediately dispatched but to no avail, the officials said.
The agency had carried out a thorough check on unidentified bodies and pasted Najeeb's photograph on toll stations seeking information about him but these efforts did not result in any positive results.
Out of the country:
During the early days of the probe, the crime branch had information that he could have left the country. There was one tip-off received by the investigators that Ahmad may have left for Nepal. The police worked on this, but found that this was not true.
Then came the controversial Islamic State link. This was an angle under probe as during the analysis it was found that he had clicked on a radical site by mistake. He however did not surf the site, but shut it down immediately.
The police scanned his laptop, but found nothing suspicious. There was no link to any radical site and we did not find any pattern suggesting that he was in touch with such elements, the police also said.
Following the Nepal lead, a team had been dispatched to the border. Posters of Ahmad were put up. However this did not yield any result either. The counterparts in Nepal too were contacted, but this too did not yield any leads or results, the police say.
Where is Najeeb Ahmad:
For now, everyone including the CBI is clueless about his whereabouts. It is one of the darkest mysteries in recent times and after working on every possible lead, the investigators got nowhere.
On being asked whether he was alive or not, the source said that they believe he is not dead. This brings us to the question as to what happens to this case, now that the CBI has decided to close Iit.
In official records, the case remains closed. However it is not the end. If the agency of the police receive any concrete lead or tip-off, they can act upon it. However it would largely now depend on the information that could flow in the future. Nothing prevents the police or the agency from re-opening the case, if a new lead crops up.
While taking permission of the Delhi High Court to close the case, the agency which began their probe in May last year had said all aspects were looked into but it could not find any trace of an offence.
Najeeb Ahmad had gone missing from the Mahi-Mandvi hostel of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here on October 15, 2016, following a scuffle the previous night with some students allegedly affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).