A team of police officials that caught two teenage boys for the kidnap and murder of a three-year-old girl in Nagpada in 2016 was recently awarded for best crime detection in the state for December 2017. In December 2016, three-and-half-year-old Juneza Khan had gone missing from her home in Nagpada. She was found dead on the terrace of an adjoining building more than a month and half after the search began. Meanwhile, her family had also received phone calls demanding a ransom of Rs 1 crore to free her.
After questioning several residents of the building, police detained a 16-year-old neighbour of the family and his 17-year-old friend. While one team of police officials combed through a list of possible suspects, another analysed the phone number from which the ransom calls were made.
The police’s case was that the two had planned to release the girl once they received the ransom and hoped to purchase motorbikes with the money. The boy, police claimed, had lured Juenza into his home under the pretext of watching TV and panicked when his mother arrived. The police claimed the boys were afraid of Juneza being discovered, drugged her with chloroform and strangled her to death with the plastic cord of a cellphone charger.
After their detention, the boys told the Juvenile Justice Board of being assaulted while in custody at J J Marg police station. The JJB had ordered an inquiry into their claims.