Najeeb Ahmad’s mother cries out: CBI is my final hope

The CBI claims to be busy with the ‘Himachal’ case, but that was transferred to them only two months after Najeeb’s.

WrittenBy:Sahla Nechiyil
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No one was in sight when she reached the venue ahead of the time. She might have been unaware about the heavy security and sensitivity of the venue of her protest. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have protested by herself outside the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters. What do these things matter anyway for a desperate and enraged mother who has no idea of what has happened to her son since last 10 months. Yet, she spoke at length to all the media personnel who hurried to get her byte. But this time with a lot more anger on her face. Fatima Nafees, the mother of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmad, spoke about the extremely irresponsible action of the country’s premiere investigating body.

The protest was yet to begin as students began reaching the place. As the crowd dispersed to the tea shops on the other side of the road, Nafees looked weary. I walked towards her, the journalist in me was numb. Tears were rolling down her face as she looked at me and murmured, “Bahuth zyaada ummeed dhi muje CBI se. Lekin sab ghatham kar diya unhone” (I had great hope in CBI, but they broke all my expectations).

The protest organised outside the CBI headquarters on Wednesday was the reaction to the investigation agency’s “partisan and apathetic attitude,” as the JNU Students’ Union termed it, towards Najeeb’s case. The protest followed the Delhi High Court’s reprimand to the CBI on Tuesday when they submitted the same old report that was placed during the last hearing in July. The court rebuked the CBI saying that “the case was not transferred to the agency (CBI) for fun. There is nothing new in the report. It is the same report of July 17.”

The protesters who initially reached the venue comprised mostly of JNU students, activists from the Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) and Campus Front of India (CFI). As the protesters sat down to block the main gate by 2 pm, the police and CRPF personnels objected to this saying that they can only protest a few metres away from the gate. Eventually the officers backed off on their demand as protesters started sloganeering. More students from JNU joined the protest by 2.30 pm. The protesters made brief speeches which expressed their anger towards the CBI.

Meanwhile, the protesters announced that they wouldn’t leave the venue until they met a senior CBI officer. After several rounds of negotiation, by 4 pm, officers agreed to meet the protesters. Five people including Nafees, Nadeem Khan, Mohit Pandey, Shehla Rashid and Soumya went inside. “We first met the CBI SP, SS Gurang who later took us to the DIG Jaspreet Singh to whom we explained everything and put our demands straight,” said Khan, an activist who follow the case closely. The DIG told us that ‘We are really embarrassed with the protest. These kinds of things just don’t happen here. We are getting calls from media too’” Khan said.

Several protests had taken place ever since Ahmad went missing. “We thought the CBI would bring something out. But, what happened yesterday crushed all our hopes,” said Khan.

“The DIG said that they were busy with the Himachal case and couldn’t look into Najeeb’s case. He also said that from now on, the case will be taken seriously and the progress will be seen in the next report,” Khan quoted the DIG.

However, according to the news reports, the Himachal Pradesh rape and murder case was transferred to the CBI only on July 19, whereas the Najeeb case was transferred on May 16, more than two months earlier. This indeed raises doubts over CBI’s priorities and motives.

“We have given them time until the next hearing, which is September 6. If nothing happen from CBI’s side by then, we will intensify the protest,” added Khan.

“I have been wandering on the roads of Delhi for last 10 months, despite my weak health. Hope is the only factor that motivates me to fight. The hope of my son still being alive and would return one day,” said Nafees.


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