The Central Bureau of Investigation Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that it has not been able to find any evidence with regard to the disappearance of Jawaharlal Nehru University student Najeeb Ahmad, and that it wants to close the probe into the matter.
The agency further told a bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Vinod Goel that it has exhausted all resources, but could not come to the conclusion that the suspects in the case have committed any “offence”. Najeeb went missing on October 15, 2016, following an on-campus scuffle, allegedly with members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a night earlier in JNU’s Mahi-Mandavi Hostel.
While handing over the status report in a sealed cover to the court, CBI’s counsel Nikhil Goel contended that it contains details of steps taken by them along with statements of the suspects. He also informed the court that they have questioned an autorickshaw driver, who told them that he was forced by police to give a statement saying he picked 27-year-old Ahmad — a student of MSc in Biotechnology, from JNU campus — and dropped him at Jamia Millia Islamia on the day he went missing.
The driver’s statement, hence, was recorded under duress by the Delhi Police, the CBI submitted in the High Court.
The agency, which earlier received flak from the court for its “complete lack of interest” in the matter, told the bench that they have completed their investigation, so the court should dispose of the matter. “Since this court was seized of the issue, so we did not find it appropriate to file closure report in the matter. We be allowed to file our closure report before the trial court, before which the FIR is pending,” Justice Goel said.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for Ahmad’s mother Fatima Nafees, opposed the CBI demand and contended that the family was not granted the privilege of seeing the status report filed by the CBI, and, therefore, it cannot believe that the agency has done its best to bring Ahmad’s body before the court.
Gonsalves further contended that ABVP activists were involved in the matter. “This is a political case. The CBI has succumbed to political pressure,” he said, adding that Ahmad was threatened by the activists at the time of the scuffle that they will “finish him off”. “This is a case of abduction and alleged murder as the body has not yet been recovered,” Gonsalves submitted before the court, urging that they be given the status report in order to examine the kind of investigation done in the matter.
Hearing both counsel, the court reserved its order on various aspects, including the request by the CBI and the counsel for the student’s mother. Ahmad’s mother had moved the High Court in November 2016, seeking directions to police to trace her son. However, as Delhi Police remained clueless about his whereabouts even seven months later, the court handed over the probe to the CBI on May 16 last year.
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