Investigators in Delhi on Wednesday said that they have been able to trace missing Jawaharlal Nehru University student Najeeb Ahmad’s movements on October 15, the day he disappeared from his hostel. ”It has come to light that the student had hired an auto-rickshaw on the morning of October 15 from near Mahi-Mandavi hostel in JNU and that he went to the Jamia Milia Islamia campus in the same vehicle,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ravindra Yadav said.
Ahmad had hired the autorickshaw himself and nobody else was spotted with him, police said. However, they are still investigating where Ahmad went after reaching Jamia Milia Islamia.
Earlier in the day, the Delhi Police had hiked the reward for providing information about Ahmad from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. Initially, the amount was fixed at Rs 50,000, but it was increased to Rs 1 lakh and then to Rs 2 lakh. “This order will come into force with immediate effect and shall remain good till the case is worked out or the missing person is traced,” a police officer told IANS.
Ahmad had gone missing from JNU after a brawl with members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. The case has now been transferred to the Crime Branch for them to have a “fresh look” at it. Earlier, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had said that Ahmad was spotted in Bihar’s Darbhanga town and added that a Special Investigation Team has been sent there to trace Ahmad. However, Ahmad’s mother had wanted the Central Bureau of Investigation to take over the case.
The case of Ahmad going missing has snowballed on and off campus. On Tuesday, the university administration had denied permission to the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union to hold a protest march in solidarity with Ahmad. The administration said the protest could have caused unrest and security threats. On November 6, the Delhi Police had detained Ahmad’s mother and a group of students while they were protesting against his disappearance at India Gate.
Ahmad had been living in JNU’s Mahi-Mandavi hostel when he got into a spat with members of the ABVP while they were campaigning for the mess secretary elections. Ahmad was initially described by university officials as an “accused” in the events of that night, but after he went missing on October 15, the police registered a case of abduction.