An elderly couple has been arrested for strangling their neighbour’s son and burying his body on the ground floor of their house in Ghaziabad’s Sahibabad area, police said. According to police, the boy, Sameer Khan, had gone missing six days ago. His decomposed body was found on Saturday in the accused’s house. Police said his mouth had been gagged with a handkerchief and his limbs were tied.
According to police, the accused — 55-year-old Abbas Chaudhary and his 50-year-old wife Jannati — had got into an altercation with the victim’s family after Sameer “burst a balloon on their grandson’s face”. The two families have been neighbours for over two decades, police added.
Anup Singh, Circle Officer, Sahibabad, said, “The incident took place on June 5 when a balloon which Sameer Khan (11) was holding burst close to Innu’s (9) face. After the incident, Innu’s grandparents got into a heated argument with Sameer’s family. A few hours later, Sameer went missing. On Saturday, his decomposed body was found in a room on the ground-floor of the accused’s residence in Shaheed Nagar.”
Police said the post-mortem examination report maintained that strangulation was the cause of the child’s death. “There were injuries on the victim’s head and neck. As the body was decomposed, the strangulation marks were not visible. However, the post-mortem examination shows that he died due to strangulation. The accused have admitted to strangling him and we have arrested them. Their three sons, who are also accused in the case, are still absconding,” Singh added.
Gurfan, the victim’s uncle, said that shortly after the altercation, Khan — a Class VI student at a school in Ghaziabad — had gone out to play. “His mother had warned him to be careful after the fight with Innu’s grandparents. That evening, Sameer did not come home and we started looking for him in the colony. Innu’s family maintained that they had not seen him. We approached police that night.”
Four days later, Sameer’s family noticed that their neighbours had locked their house and left. “We tried calling them but their phones were switched off. We got in touch with their relative, who called Abbas and asked him to come to the police station. Police questioned Abbas and he admitted to killing my nephew and burying his body inside his house,” Gurfan claimed.
Police reached the accused’s residence and found a 3-ft deep pit, filled with mud and covered with cardboard in a ground floor room.
“The child’s body was found in the pit. The accused said, initially, they had kept the body in another room. Scared of police action against them, they dug the pit and buried the child,” Singh said.