Two youngsters, including a minor, have been arrested by the Jamshedpur police for allegedly killing their 10-year-old hostel mate in the early hours of June 26 in a private hostel under Ghatshila police station area of Jamshedpur district. The police have also arrested the couple, who ran the hostel, for allegedly not taking any action against the main accused even though they were aware of his actions.
The main accused, aged around 19 and a Class 10 student, would indulge in sexually abusing junior children, the police said. According to the police, Ramchandra Giri, son of Pankaj Giri, a resident of Khejuria village in Chakulia Block of Jamshedpur, was found dead on the morning of June 26 on the roof of the two-storey private hostel, called Bethany hostel. It catered to the students of a couple of schools in the vicinity. The police suspected the involvement of an insider.
Following investigations, the police zeroed-in on Birbal Soren, a Class 10 student. From the statements of the students in the hostel, the police came to know that he was among the eldest and would boss over other junior students. The police also recovered a blood-stained ‘gamchha’ that was used by Birbal to try and wash off the stains following the incident.
“On the fateful night, Birbal was indulging in sexually abusing another child, a student of class 5, in the early hours, when Ramchandra happened to spot him. Birbal got worried that his activities would be revealed. With the help of the boy he was abusing, he forcibly took Ramchandra on the roof, where he hit him on the head with a stone repeatedly. After Ramchandra died, both returned to their bed and slept. The body was found next morning,” said a police officer associated with the case. He added that Birbal allegedly used to abuse the minor accused for the past couple of years.
Before coming to bed, however, Birbal had tried to wipe the blood off his hands with a ‘gamchha’, and then washed it. He also threw it after keeping it in a poly bag outside the hostel. But, the police recovered it. “That is a crucial piece of evidence we have recovered. Some boys had also seen Birbal trying to wash off the gamchha in the early hours,” said Rural Superintendent of Police Mohammad Arshi.
Arshi said that a separate case against Masidas Minj and his wife Sarita Minj, who used to run the hostel, has been registered and they have been arrested. “They were aware that the main accused was involved in such activities in their hostel. It is possible that they may have rebuked the main accused earlier, but they did not take any effective action. Also, the hostel accommodated the girls also. Investigations so far have not revealed any complaint of this nature from the girls. But the probe is still on. As of now, the hostel has been closed,” said the officer.
Arshi added that many such private hostels have come up in the rural areas, as students from interior villages take residence for getting education in schools located around the town areas. This hostel was running for the past five to six years. “They require regulation,” he said.