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3-min read

Who is Najeeb Ahmed? The Anatomy of a Manhunt

His mother is baffled. So are the investigators who are trying to trace Najeeb Ahmed, the 28-year-old JNU student who has been missing since October 15. How can a boy who would not take any decision without consulting his mother be away from her for so long?

Subhajit Sengupta | CNN-News18SubhajitSG

Updated:November 8, 2016, 5:52 PM IST
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Who is Najeeb Ahmed? The Anatomy of a Manhunt
A TV grab of Najeeb Ahmed. (Image: CNN-News18)

New Delhi: His mother is baffled. So are the investigators who are trying to trace Najeeb Ahmed, the 28-year-old JNU student who has been missing since October 15. How can a boy who would not take any decision without consulting his mother be away from her for so long?

Najeeb Ahmed, the first year MSc Biotechnology student, left the JNU hostel on the morning of October 15 and since then he has remained untraceable.

Without any concrete lead on his whereabouts, the SIT has created a psychometric profile of Najeeb which showed his deep attachment to his mother. The dependence is such that when he went to withdraw money from an ATM for the first time after joining JNU, he had to call up his mother to find out his pin number.

After an altercation with some ABVP cadre on October 14 around 10:30pm, an agitated Najeeb called up his mother and told her about the incident. In fact, his mother had reached Anand Vihar when he left the campus the next morning. He allegedly left in an auto, without his phone, wallet or clothes.

The investigators found out he was receiving psychiatric help at Vimhans, a premier mental health institute. He was essentially being treated for depression and obsessive compulsive disorder.

When the members of the SIT asked the concerned doctor as to what could be the possible reaction of someone of his mental make up to a situation like that, the doctors said it would be to “leave everything and run”.

The timing is also key here. Investigators say he left the hostel room when his mother was less than an hour away from him. It is possible his mother was coming to take him home. The police expect he will try and contact his mother sooner or later.

After finishing school, Najeeb went to Kanpur to prepare for medical entrance tests, but joined the Aligarh Muslim University instead. Two years into the MSc course, he decided to leave it and prepare for medical entrance tests again. This time he chose a prep school in Kota.

In spite of his strong academic credentials, he failed to clear the tests.

Finally, he finished his BSc Biotechnology from a private college in Baraily. He then moved to Delhi: first to Jamia and then to JNU.

Najeeb was seen to be a recluse. But the recluse in him probably found a release in the anonymity of the internet. He would spend considerable time browsing the internet and made two Facebook profiles, one of which boasted of 500 friends. Most of them seemed only internet friends. The display picture of the profile was not his photograph.

Najeeb's mother doesn't think he was under medication for psychiatric reasons. She says the Delhi Police are spreading “false stories”. But she too, like the investigators, believes Najeeb is alive.

Senior officers of the SIT say they are keeping a constant watch on deaths being reported from areas that are even remotely linked to Najeeb. Areas like Baraily, Badaun, Aligarh, Kota, Kanpur, Ajmer and the adjoining areas of Delhi are being closely monitored by over 150 personnel of the SIT.

The missing person’s case has taken political overtones with opposition parties accusing the Delhi Police, which reports to the BJP-ruled Centre, of doing little to find the JNU student. The pressure led to the formation of the SIT and the launch of one of the biggest search operations in Delhi.

For now, investigators are banking on the strong bond with the boy and his mother, hoping he would contact his mother sooner or later.

Also Read: Clueless About JNU Student's Disappearance, Delhi Police Say He had Prescription for Depression

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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