5 held for kidnapping; killers at large

Rai’s neighbour Amit Singh was among those detained because he was believed to be in touch with the kidnappers.

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal | Published:February 22, 2012 1:11 am

The police have detained five persons in connection with last week’s kidnapping of a government officer’s son in Umaria,but they are yet to nab the killers of journalist Chandrika Rai and his family.

Rai’s neighbour Amit Singh was among those detained because he was believed to be in touch with the kidnappers. Rai,who worked as a stringer for newspapers,was found dead along with his wife and two children at his home on Saturday. The mobile phones belonging to Rai and his wife were missing and the house had been ransacked by the killers.

Singh,who is believed to have played a role in the kidnapping,told the police that Rai had given him three handsets purchased recently from a local shop. Sources said Mirzapur-based kidnappers had made calls on a handset belonging to Singh. The police are expected to make an official announcement in this regard on Wednesday.

The abductors had released SDO Hemant Jharia’s son Anant (7) on Friday. The police had called a press conference to announce this,and given a clean chit to the two suspects they had rounded up. The murders took place a few hours after the press meet. Sources said Rai spoke with a woman home guard 11 times on the day of his murder. The home guard claimed she returned the SIM card to him that evening because she was fed up with his calls.

Hailing from Kachharwar,Rai owned 20 acres of land there. When a local legislator visited Kachharwar on Tuesday to hand over a cheque for Rs 1 lakh each,the family returned the amount saying they would pay more if the government nabbed the killers.

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