New Delhi: In what could prove to be a breakthrough, a mysterious letter has claimed that missing Jawaharlal Nehru University student Najeeb Ahmed was being held captive in Aligarh.
The Delhi Police have initiated a probe into the letter delivered on November 14 at Mahi-Mandvi hostel, JNU.
The Times of India has quoted sources as saying that the letter, addressed to Ahmed, was allegedly written by a woman from Aligarh. It was received by hostel president Azeem, who apprised Ahmed's mother Fatima Nafees of it and gave it to her.
She later handed it over to the Crime Branch.
In the letter, the woman had written that she had spotted Ahmed at a market in Aligarh.
The letter alleged that Ahmed sought her help, saying that he had somehow escaped from a confinement. However, “by the time she could inform anyone, he had left or was probably taken away by some people. She had also mentioned an address where she could be contacted.” added the daily.
"We checked it. The information was bogus. The letter said he's in captivity but it was found to be fake. There was no ransom demand," Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said, adding that a team was sent to the address in Aligarh and it was found that the sender had used fake identity.
Meanwhile, CCTV footage sought by the Delhi Police from the Jamia authorities in connection with the disappearance of Ahmed has been erased as the authorities store a day's clips for one month, prompting the probe team to seek help from Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) to retrieve the images.
The Jamia Millia Islamia administration, after initial reluctance, has shared CCTV footage with the Delhi Police's Crime Branch which is probing the disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed, but has informed it that the footage of the period before October 18 was not available.
The probe team has traced an auto-rickshaw driver who told them that he had dropped Ahmed at Jamia Millia Islamia on October 15.
The reward amount for providing information on Najeeb's whereabouts has been increased from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh owing to the "sensitivity" of the matter.
Ahmed went missing on October 15 following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with ABVP members the night before.
The case was last week transferred from South District Police to Crime Branch in order to have a "fresh look" at the case.
(With Agency inputs)