A police team investigating the case of Najeeb Ahmad on Saturday traced the alleged sender of a letter that claimed the missing JNU student was in Aligarh.
But when the police reached the sender’s address in the letter, they found a 70-year-old woman who said she could not read or write and had never heard of Najeeb.
“She was surprised when we landed at her residence and had no clue about Najeeb,” a police source said.
The mysterious letter was delivered at Mahi-Mandvi hostel of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on November 14.
The police said she had no idea about Najeeb’s case making headlines. The team even showed her the letter. “She asked why she would claim to know about Najeeb, whom she have never seen,” a police source said.
The police team later returned to Delhi. Najeeb has been missing since October 15 with the police making little headway in the case.
“It was probably a prank. It seems that someone just used the address to send the letter to create panic. The investigators have been on their toes to find him but they are now falling prey to such pranks. It is a sensitive matter and should not be trivialized,” a senior police officer said.
The police have sent teams to Badaun, Bareilly and Vellore to search for Najeeb. “We have been carrying out searches in Jamia, Zakir Nagar and areas where his friends and relatives stay. The search operation is still on. In other states, we have come out with advertisements in all local newspapers, cable TV channels and radios asking people to help us find him,” a senior police officer said.
The letter, addressed to Najeeb Ahmed, was received by hostel president Azeem. Azeem, later, informed Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees and handed it over to her who gave it to the crime branch.
In the letter, the woman had written that she had seen Ahmed at a market in Aligarh. He sought her help saying that he had been locked up somewhere and had managed to escape. She mentioned an address where she could be contacted.