The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police conducted an extensive search of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus on Monday afternoon to hunt for clues in the Najeeb Ahmad missing case. The Delhi High Court had recently pulled up the force for failing to trace Najeeb two months after he disappeared from campus.
Over 600 personnel, including officers from the Special Cell and Special Branch, and five squads of sniffer dogs and horses scanned the JNU premises. The officers also visited Najeeb’s room in the Mahi-Mandavi hostel, where dogs were made familiar with the scents. However, nothing substantial came to the fore.
“We are now planning to conduct a lie-detector test on some students whose names cropped up during the investigation. Almost 60 per cent of the campus was covered till Monday evening. The other areas on campus will be scanned on Tuesday. Most of the buildings, including academic institutions and hostels, were scanned,” said a senior officer.
The search party also searched several hostels, including Mahi Mandavi, Satluj and Ganga. They questioned some students as well.
Najeeb, 27, a resident of Badaun district in Uttar Pradesh and a first-year MSc student at JNU, went missing on October 15 after a scuffle with some ABVP members the night before. The issue brought the functioning of the varsity to a halt, with the agitating JNU students’ union keeping Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar and other university officials under siege for over 20 hours. The Delhi police have also announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for any information about Najeeb.
Meanwhile, the students’ union asked what police had been doing for the past 65 days. “We requested the police to search the campus repeatedly, but they did not pay heed to our demands. After the court passed an order, the police seem to have come out of their slumber, just to pay lip service. This proves that they were never serious about the case,” said JNU students’ union President Mohit Pandey.
“Due to the long delay in basic exercises, the police have already lost important details. They seem to be clueless about how to find a missing person,” he added.