JNU students welcome HC order on Najeeb, but still wary

Delhi High Court has ordered that the Najeeb Ahmad case should be handed over to the CBI. But the question is, will the Centre allow the CBI to function independently

Photo by Ravi Choudhary/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Ravi Choudhary/Hindustan Times via Getty Images


Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students on Tuesday welcomed the Delhi High Court order transferring the Najeeb Ahmad case from the Delhi police to the CBI, but wondered if the government's investigation agency would be given a free hand to probe the disappearance of the JNU student.

“It is a good move, but we were demanding an independent inquiry monitored by the court. Even the CBI functions under the ambit of the central government and can be influenced as we have seen in several cases,” JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) president Mohit Kumar Pandey said.

Former JNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid said the order was a "vindication" of the contention that the Delhi Police had failed to do its job in finding Najeeb, who has not been seen for the last seven months.

“The High Court's order is a welcome move. But the question is, will the central government allow the CBI to function independently,” she asked.

Rashid said a court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) – “something that is free of Modi government's influence” – would have been a better move.

JNU Teachers' Association president Ayesha Kidwai hoped that the CBI would take up the search for Najeeb with an “earnestness” that “nobody, neither the police nor the JNU administration”, had exhibited so far.

A bench of Justices GS Sistani and Rekha Palli transferred the case to the CBI on Tuesday on a plea from the student's mother after the Delhi Police said it had no problems with the case being moved.

The court said the probe by the CBI would be supervised by an officer, holding a rank not lower than that of a DIG.

Najeeb Ahmad disappeared on October 14, 2016, a day after he allegedly had an altercation with students of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a students' group affiliated to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. The ABVP has denied any involvement in Najeeb's disappearance.

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