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'Where is Najeeb?' Students, others demand answers, protest at CBI headquarters

A day before the Najeeb Ahmed case is to be heard in court, students from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and other universities along with many other concerned citizens demonstrated outside the CBI headquarters in Delhi on Monday demanding answers about the scholar's disappearance.

Ahmed, a biotechnology student of JNU, went missing on the night of October 15, 2016, from the university campus after an altercation with some Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) students during a hostel election campaign.

The case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in July last year, after the police failed to make any headway in tracing the student hailing from Badaun in Uttar Pradesh.

The protest on Monday marked 100 days of a similar protest by students against the top investigation agency.

Addressing protesters, Najeeb's mother Fatima Nafees said, "The investigation has not moved an inch since the incident took place. The CBI has done nothing except force me to run from pillar to post in the last one-and-a-half years? Instead, fake stories on Najeeb having joined ISIS are being circulated without any evidence; he's being defamed."

She also hit out at the JNU V-C and said he should be immediately removed from his position. "If he had filed an FIR in the case as the V-C? police would have taken up the issue more seriously. We want the CBI to, first and foremost, question the nine ABVP students who assaulted Najeeb," she alleged.

Najeeb's cousin, Sadaf Musharraf, said: "The theory of Najeeb having hailed an auto rickshaw has now proven to be false, as mentioned by the CBI. So under what pressure was that statement made in the first place? Why was it said that he had taken the auto to Jamia Nagar and not some other area? All this is making us doubt that the case is not being followed up properly. They just want to pass time so that the issue dies down? But we will make sure that doesn?t happen."

Najeeb allegedly got into a scuffle outside his hostel room with three activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on the night of October 14. He went missing a day later. Nine students are named in connection with the case. The HC on May 16, 2017, had directed the CBI to take over the investigation from Delhi Police.

On Monday, about 250 students, including those from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), clashed with the security forces deployed there to prevent any trespassing during the demonstration.

"The protest was largely peaceful but some of the protesters from AMU who had reached the place a little earlier clashed with the police. At least three were detained by police," Qasim, Ahmed's roommate at Mahi-Mandavi Hostel where he lived, said.