The Delhi High Court on Friday criticised the Delhi Police for failing to locate Jawaharlal Nehru University student Najeeb Ahmad, who has been missing for the past 55 days. A bench of the court asked how Ahmad could “vanish suddenly”, PTI reported. Ahmad disappeared after a brawl with members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad on the university campus.

“You [the police] do not know about his whereabouts,” the bench said. “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,” it said, adding that the issue of a person missing for so long would create a sense of insecurity among the public. Noting that the court was “not concerned” with the brawl that took place before Ahmad’s disappearance, the bench said that it only wanted the student to be located. It posted the matter for next hearing on December 14.

On November 25, the Delhi High Court issued notices to the state government and the police in connection with the case. It also asked the Delhi Police to file a status report in the matter. This came after Ahmad’s mother Fatima Nafees filed a petition with the court, seeking the formation of a special investigation team to probe her son’s disappearance.

The case of the missing student has snowballed on and off campus. On November 15, the university administration had denied permission to the JNU students’ union to hold a protest march in solidarity with Ahmad. The administration had said the protest could have caused unrest leading to security threats on campus. On November 6, the Delhi Police had detained Ahmad’s mother and a group of students while they were protesting against the administration’s inaction in the case.