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Cops forced auto driver to say he dropped Najeeb at Jamia: CBI

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The today submitted a status report on its probe into the mysterious disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed in the High Court, and is believed to have said that the auto-rickshaw driver who the Police claimed to have dropped the JNU student at Jamia Millia Islamia has retracted his statement.

The status report, giving details of the steps the has taken in the matter, was submitted in a sealed cover before a bench of Justices S Muralidhar and I S Mehta. The details were not discussed in the open


According to sources, when agency sleuths grilled the auto-rickshaw driver he told them that he was forced to give a statement that he had picked 27-year-old Najeeb Ahmed, a student of M.Sc in Biotechnology, from the University (JNU) campus and left him at Jamia Millia Islamia on October 15 last year.

The driver's statement was recorded under duress by the Police, the submitted in the high court, the agency sources said.

Najeeb went missing on October 15 following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members the night before in Mahi-Mandavi Hostel of JNU.

The probe agency, which earlier received flak from the for its "complete lack of interest" in the matter, told the bench that it was awaiting forensic results of the mobile phones of nine JNU students that were seized in connection with its probe.

Asked about the status report, spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said he would not comment on the report as it was submitted in a "sealed cover" and the matter was sub-judice.

The high bench said, "has handed over a status report. It reflects further steps taken in the matter. The does not think it appropriate to discuss the details of the investigation given in the status report in the open "

The agency, which refused to give a copy of the report to the counsel for Najeeb Ahmed's mother citing the reasons of leakage of contents in the media, showed the details to the complainant's advocate for his perusal inside the

During the hearing, CBI's counsel Nikhil Goel said their investigation was continuing and they have seized the mobile phones of nine students suspected of being behind Najeeb's disappearance and sent them to the forensic science laboratory (FSL) which is yet to give its report.

Their call detail records were also being analysed, he said, adding that since the case was of a sensitive nature and if the details comes out in the media, it would be difficult for officials to extract information.

When the CBI's counsel urged the to conduct in- chamber proceedings in the matter, the bench said it would consider it on the next date of hearing on December 21. The considered it appropriate to wait for the FSL results.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for Najeeb's mother, asked why the was not taking anyone into custody to extract information and alleged that it was a political abduction by ABVP students due to which the probe agencies were acting slow.

To this, the bench said it was not supposed to supervise the probe at this stage but only to ensure that the probe was not hampered or influenced in any manner.

"We cannot put unnecessary pressure on the probe agency. We completely understand the anxiety and tension of the parents," the bench said.

The was also informed that the plea seeking the consent of the suspect students for a polygraph test was listed for hearing tomorrow before a trial here.

The had earlier faced flak from the high for its "complete lack of interest" and not showing any result in its probe into the disappearance of Najeeb, five months after being handed over the investigation.

Over a month after Najeeb went missing, his mother had moved the High on November 25 last year, seeking directions to the police to trace her son.

The high had immediately directed the Police to "explore all angles" and "cut across political barriers" to trace the young man, saying no one could just vanish from the heart of the national capital.

However, as the police remained clueless about Najeeb's whereabouts even after seven months since he went missing, the probe was handed over to on May 16, 2017.

In August, when failed to file a fresh progress report in the case, the high had rebuked it, saying the probe was not transferred to the agency "for fun".

On September 6, the again directed the to take steps to trace Najeeb.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 14 2017. 20:22 IST
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