Cops rapped for no leads in Najeeb case

HC expresses concern over how “somebody can vanish suddenly”; police say they are probing all angles

Published - December 10, 2016 12:21 am IST - NEW DELHI

Call for action:  Members of JNUSU and other students’ organisations demand justice for Najeeb, who has been missing for 55 days.  File Photo: P

Call for action: Members of JNUSU and other students’ organisations demand justice for Najeeb, who has been missing for 55 days. File Photo: P

: The Delhi High Court on Friday slammed the city police for remaining clueless about missing Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Najeeb Ahmed.

The University and the police were responding to a habeus corpus plea filed by Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees, who was also present in the court. She had sought directions to the authorities to trace her son, an MSc (Biotechnology) student who has been missing for 55 says.

Bad signal

Expressing concern for Najeeb, the court said a situation, in which a missing person had not been traced for over 50 days, would create a sense of insecurity among people.

“It has been over 50 days. Still you [police] do not know about his whereabouts. How can somebody vanish suddenly and the police have no clue about it? Even if we think of the worst, something has to be found out. We are pained that the missing person has not been traced till date,” a Bench of Justices G. S. Sistani and Vinod Goel said.

Senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra, appearing for the police, told the Bench that the Crime Branch was exploring all angles to trace Najeeb and had even issued advertisements.

“We are diligent. We will do whatever is to be done at our level,” said Mr. Mehra.

Najeeb had gone missing from JNU’s Mahi-Mandvi hostel on October 15 allegedly after an on-campus scuffle between him and some members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The ABVP has denied involvement in his disappearance.

The Bench said, “We are not concerned about the scuffle. We only want that the student is found. We want a mother to get her child back.”

Meanwhile, JNU’s counsel Monika Arora submitted before the court that “since Day One, the University has been in regular contact with the police for obtaining updates and providing relevant information regarding the incident”. “Further, security guards along with police teams have been coordinating in the search for Najeeb in the forests adjoining the campus,” said Ms.Arora, adding that “the Vice-Chancellor has written to senior police officials and the SHO concerned to expedite the search”.

Students summoned

Ms. Arora, in a status report, said the hostel warden had summoned the students involved in the scuffle soon after the incident. “All the students, including Najeeb, were called by the warden. Disciplinary measures were taken after Najeeb admitted to have had initiated the altercation with his fellow students. The issue was resolved in the presence of the JNUSU president and other college staff and students,” the report stated.

It also stated that the students involved in the scuffle would be shifted to another hostel.

“After Najeeb is found, the disciplinary action awarded to these persons will be again looked into,” the court was told. Later, the matter was listed for further hearing on December 14.

On November 28, the court had sternly asked the city police to “cut across all political barriers” and find Najeeb.

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