A 27-year-old UPSC aspirant was arrested on Tuesday morning for allegedly killing a seven-year-old boy over a month ago and keeping his body inside a suitcase. Police said he had kept the suitcase in the same room where he slept. According to police, the accused, Avdesh Shakya, allegedly killed the boy, Ashish, on January 7 at his rented home in Swaroop Nagar. Police recovered the decomposed body after the accused confessed to the crime following his arrest.
Police said the accused was upset with the boy’s parents as they wouldn’t let the child talk to Shakya or play with him. Confirming the arrest, DCP (northwest) Aslam Khan said, “Shakya was planning to dump the body and make a ransom call to the boy’s father.” Police said the boy’s father, Karan Singh, had lodged a missing persons complaint on January 7 at Swaroop Nagar police station. Police had declared a reward of Rs 1.25 lakh for information about the child.
Police said the accused was Singh’s tenant for three years. “He grew friendly with Singh and his family. A few months ago, he shifted to another house in the same locality and would visit Singh’s house occasionally. However, Singh objected to Shakya meeting his son,” a police officer said.
On January 7, police said Ashish went to Shakya’s house to get a bicycle that he had promised him for his birthday. “He told the accused that his father had asked him to stay away from him. Shakya grew angry and allegedly smothered the child with a muffler. He then stuffed the body in a suitcase,” the officer said.
Police said Shakya continued visiting Singh’s house after the crime and even accompanied him to the police station.
Eventually, neighbours noticed a foul smell emanating from his house, but Shakya claimed it was a dead rat. “He couldn’t dump the body as police were keeping watch on the area. When the smell grew worse, he stayed at Singh’s house or with a friend,” a police source said.
As news spread in the locality on Tuesday about Shakya’s involvement in the murder, residents gathered outside his home in protest. Police personnel were deployed in the area to maintain peace. Ashish’s uncle Lal Singh said: “We are shocked that a man who used to eat at their home could kill the child. He should be given the harshest punishment.”
Alleging negligence by police, Shalu, a resident, said, “They searched so many houses, including ours, but they never searched Shakya’s home.” Police said Shakya hails from western UP and was preparing for the civil service exams. He also has an MSc in Physics.