New Delhi: Some 1,000 policemen on Monday searched the sprawling JNU campus here for Najeeb Ahmed but failed to find clues which could lead them to the student who went missing over two months ago.
The Crime Branch personnel, assisted by other wings of Delhi Police, will resume the search on Tuesday at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, officials said.
The massive search operation, the first of its kind since Najeeb went missing on October 15, involved all 18 hostels, dhabas, the administrative block, the academic centres as well as sewer lines and drains.
The search began around 7 a.m. and ended some 10 hours later when it began to get dark.
Twenty sniffer dogs were involved in the operation that covered 60 per cent of the forested area in the campus, a police officer said.
“There could be a strong possibility that someone killed Najeeb and buried him or decomposed his body inside the campus,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ravindra Yadav said.
Najeeb’s family, however, complained that the search had come too late.
“The police officers were not inclined to talk for most part and just kept on with the search,” Mujeeb, a cousin of Najeeb, told IANS.
“We have been telling them to search the campus from day one but they wouldn’t listen. Nor did the JNU administration pressurise police to take action in earnest, I believe,” he said.
“Moreover, the whole exercise is largely futile now as one of the dog handlers himself told me that clues, if there had been any, would have vanished by now,” he added.
The JNU Students Union (JNUSU) denounced the campus search as absurd and the police methodology as clueless.
“After 65 days of Najeeb’s disappearance, this is the state of affairs,” JNUSU President Mohit Pandey said.
“The police earlier worked like a puppet of the central government. Now, to save their face before the court, they are doing absurd exercises,” he said.
The search teams were divided into 11 zones, headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police G. Ramgopal Naik.
“The search operation was conducted on the order of Delhi High Court,” officer Yadav said.
“Police may also conduct polygraphic test on suspected individuals, if needed.”
Some residential areas in the campus and interiors remain to be scanned.
Police said the possibility of Najeeb meeting an accident outside the campus was not ruled out. And so records at hospitals and mortuaries here were also looked into.
Police are trying to crack the mystery behind Najeeb’s disappearance.
The young student went missing after a reported brawl on the night of October 14 with activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarti Parishad (ABVP), the RSS student wing. The ABVP has denied any link with his disappearance.
Najeeb was last seen at the JNU campus main gate while hiring an auto-rickshaw to reportedly go to Jamia Millia Islamia campus on October 15.
Police have raised the reward amount for providing information that could help locate Najeeb from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.
The Delhi High Court has said the police were free to search Jamia Millia too.