Having failed to make a headway in the investigation of the murder of six-year-old Mehram Sandhu, the Mohali police on Sunday announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for anyone who would give a clue, and promised to keep the person’s identity secret.
The information can be given at the following numbers: 0172-2270575-76, 98031-31333, 98786-40007.
The police quizzed at length the children who frequent the park in Phase 9 from where the boy was abducted on October 28, but got no clue. Some tip-offs, which came after the sketch of a suspect was released, were also of no help. A suspicious character was sighted at a local hospital, but disappeared before the police could reach him.
A police team, led by SP Harpal Sandhu, visited the locality where Mehram lived and questioned the residents of the area. They also spoke to the children who were present in the park on the day of the kidnapping to reconstruct the scene. Incidentally, not a single adult said he was present in the park when the incident happened.
Mehram’s family members, relatives and many residents took out a candle-light march from their house in Phase 9 to the Phase 8 police station and further to Gurdwara Amb Sahib. Addressing them at the police station, the SP said the police were working round the clock and the killers would be caught very soon. Some residents accused the police of inaction in the initial days, others said they would go on an indefinite fast if the police failed to solve the case till Wednesday.
SP Sandhu told the gathering that they would initiate an inquiry into negligence, if any, found on the part of any police official.
On the day of the kidnapping, the family had staged a protest at the police station late at night following which officials swung into action and the SHO reached the spot. Mehram is believed to have been killed that very night.
A medical officer said that an opinion from radiologists had been sought regarding the X-ray of Mehram’s body. He said they found a knotted piece of cloth round the neck, and “strangulation was the likely cause of death but it is hard to arrive at a conclusion”.
Dr Karamjit Singh, a forensic expert, said the hyoid bone in the neck is fractured whenever there is strangulation. But since Mehram’s head got separated in the process of removing the body from the spot, it was difficult to say anything with certainty.