Police on Tuesday said they found three burnt bodies atop a hill in the forested area in Karwi of Chitrakoot district. They suspect the bodies to be those of the men allegedly abducted by dacoits from Satna district in Madhya Pradesh a few days ago. “The bodies were burnt beyond recognition and there is no evidence to show that these are the same three from Madhya Pradesh. The family members of the missing persons have claimed that they could be the same persons. We are going to collect all forensic evidence from the spot and will also get DNA tests done to identify the bodies,” said Chitrakoot SP Pratap Gopendra Yadav. He added that the police had discovered the bodies acting on information from locals in the area.
Police suspect the dacoits may have been led by a man named Lalit Patel, a known bandit-leader in the area. “He hails from Nayagaon area in Madhya Pradesh, the same area from the three men were allegedly abducted, and all his gang members are from there. In Karwi area, our police had an encounter with his gang last week and that is the only case registered against him. We don’t have any other case registered against him in UP,” said Yadav.
He added that Patel’s gang has been operating in Madhya Pradesh but shifts to Uttar Pradesh sometimes to avoid police action. Circle Officer Suresh Prasad Sharma said the bodies were burnt at the spot where the skeletons were found. “The spot where they were found has burnt leaves around it and indicates that the three persons were burnt there. All we have recovered are skeletons. There is no way they could be identified. A DNA test will be done,” he said.
Karwi SHO Manoj Kumar Shukla said Munna Yadav was kidnapped by the gang from his home in Tharpahad village of MP, while two others, Indrapal Yadav of Pathra village and Ram Prasad Raidas of Terhi village, were abducted when they had gone inside the forest. He said family members of the three had been searching for them and they have claimed that these skeletons could be of the missing persons. He said the skeletons were lying in the forest which is about seven kilometres away from the villages of missing persons.
Sub-Inspector Sujit Kumar Singh, who is Bharat Koop outpost in-charge, said he received a call from a resident of Khamariya village on Monday and the person informed that he had heard about three bodies lying in the forest. “We started combing in the area today morning around 7.30 am and the bodies were recovered,” he said.
Singh said no witnesses have come forward and the bodies are suspected to have been burnt either on Saturday or Sunday. He said Munna Yadav’s family members have said he was kidnapped on Friday.