Two months after the Delhi High Court directed the CBI to probe the disappearance of JNU student Najeeb Ahmad, the agency today said it has been investigating the matter for just a month and needs more time for it. The high court had on May 16 ordered the CBI to take over the probe into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the student who has been missing since October.
On the agency’s request, a bench of justices G S Sistani and Chander Shekhar gave it time till August 8 to file a report on the progress made in the probe. The CBI told the court that it would be filing its report in a sealed cover.
While handing over the case to the CBI, the high court had disagreed with the allegations of the missing student’s family that the investigation by police was “politically motivated” and lacked “integrity”. It had said that police had accepted all the directions and suggestions given by the court from time to time and did “substantial work”.
Police had not opposed the plea for giving the probe of the case to any other agency, but claimed it had worked in the “most professional manner” and to the “best of its ability” and would like to see how any other agency handles the case. Najeeb’s mother, Fatima Nafees, had during the hearing of her plea to trace her son, a first-year M Sc Biotechnology student, expressed reservations about police continuing with the investigation.
The student went missing on October 15, 2016 after he had an altercation with some students belonging to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in the campus. Later, students of the RSS-affiliated ABVP had denied any involvement in his disappearance. The seven-month-old case had witnessed several twists and turns. Statements of nine students were recorded by police but they had objected to the notice sent to them for their consent to undergo the lie detection test.
A trial court had accepted the objections of the nine students that the notice for polygraph test was “defective”. The matter came to the high court after Najeeb’s mother filed a writ of habeas corpus on November 25 to trace her son who went missing from JNU hostel Mahi Mandavi.
The high court had time and again come down heavily on police for failing to trace the student even after several months of investigation and even remarked that it was looking for an “escape route” and was “beating around the bush”. The court had also lashed out at police for sending officers across the country and setting up SITs, while not questioning the nine students suspected to be behind Najeeb’s disappearance.