Delhi Police has initiated a probe into a ‘mysterious letter’ that was delivered at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) four days ago claiming that the missing student Najeeb Ahmad was in Aligarh.
According to a report in Times of India, the letter was reportedly sent by a woman in Aligarh who also claimed to have important information about the MSc student.
In the letter, addressed to Ahmed, the report said, the woman firmly alleged that she had seen Najeeb in a market in Aligarh.
The letter further stated that Najeeb sought the woman’s help saying that he had been held captive by some people and had somehow managed to escape. However, by the time the woman could call for help, Najeeb had disappeared, the TOI report said.
The letter was received by hostel president Azeem, who later informed Ahmed's mother Fatima Nafees.
Meanwhile, CCTV footage sought by Delhi Police from the Jamia authorities in connection with the disappearance of Najeeb has been erased, prompting the probe team to seek help from Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) to retrieve the images.
PTI reported that the Jamia Millia Islamia administration, after initial reluctance, has shared CCTV footage with the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch but has informed it that the footage of the period before October 18 was not available.
Authorities argued that they store a day’s clips for one month.
The probe team has traced an auto-rickshaw driver who told them that he had dropped Najeeb at Jamia Millia Islamia on October 15.
“We contacted the Jamia authorities and they told us that the footage of the period till October 18 has been erased since the clips are stored only for a period of one month. We are trying to retrieve the footage of October 15 in order to trace Najeeb’s movement inside the Jamia campus. We have sent the cameras to FSL so that we can get some clues in Najeeb’s case,” a police source said.
Meanwhile, a guard at JNU’s Mahi Mandavi Hostel where Najeeb was staying had received a letter a few days ago which stated that the student was being held captive in Aligarh. However, on verification, the letter was found to be bogus.
“We checked it. The information was bogus. The letter said he’s in captivity but it was found to be fake. There was no ransom demand,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said, adding that a team was sent to the address in Aligarh and it was found that the sender had used fake identity.
The reward amount for providing information on Najeeb’s whereabouts has been increased from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh owing to the “sensitivity” of the matter. Najeeb went missing on October 15 following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with ABVP members the night before. The case was last week transferred from South District Police to Crime Branch in order to have a “fresh look” at the case.