A 30-year-old former tenant was arrested Sunday for allegedly killing a child in Ghaziabad — nearly two years after the four-year-old boy went missing. The decomposed body of the child was found in a trunk on a neighbour’s terrace in June this year.
“After the body was recovered, our teams started tracking all the people who were in touch with the family. Our suspicion on the former tenant grew strong as the investigation progressed. The boy was identified from his clothes as the body was in a decomposed state. The accused, Rajendra Shah, hails from Saharsa in Bihar and used to live as a tenant with his family, in the boy’s home,” said Atish Kumar Singh, Circle Officer (City), Ghaziabad.
In June, more than a year after he went missing from his home in Sahibabad, the boy’s decomposed body was found on the terrace of his neighbour’s house. Police said the body was found in a wooden crate by the victim’s brother, when he went to the terrace to fetch a cricket ball. The neighbour told police that the boxes were stored on the terrace following his daughter’s wedding in November 2016.
“Our teams went to his village in Bihar to trace him, but he could not be found. We managed to track him down and he told us what had allegedly happened on the day the boy went missing. The accused is an alcoholic and he was drunk when he saw the boy. He tried to misbehave with the child, but when the child resisted, he slit the boy’s throat with a knife and hid the body on the neighbour’s terrace. We are questioning him further to ascertain the state of his mind. He seems unstable,” Singh claimed.
Meanwhile, the boy’s father maintained that he did not suspect the accused initially because his family helped them after the child went missing.
“So many years had passed since they moved to our house. When we returned that night, I saw him (Shah) sleeping. After 10-15 days, they went to their village, and then vacated the house within the next two-three months. I did not suspect him. His wife went with my wife to various people for help to find my son,” he said.
After the boy went missing on December 1, 2016, his father had lodged a police complaint. On December 12, he got a call from a man who claimed to have kidnapped his son and demanded Rs 8 lakh.
On the basis of mobile surveillance, police traced the call and nabbed Irfan and Aftab. During questioning, they confessed to making the call but denied kidnapping the child.