The police in Gorakhpur district on Monday arrested five people in connection with the death of a 14-year-old boy, whose body was found a day after he was abducted from his home in the Pipraich area of Misrauli village. The prime accused, and one of those arrested, is the victim’s neighbour.
“Five persons have been arrested in the case and two others are still on the run,” Gorakhpur SSP Sunil Kumar Gupta told the media.
The police said that around 3 pm on Sunday the victim’s father, Mahajan Gupta received a ransom call from an unidentified number. The caller asked him to pay Rs 1 crore to ensure his son’s release.
Gupta, who runs a paan shop, then called up the police control room to alert them about the abduction. The Special Task Force was also included in the investigation.
Gupta told the police that his son was playing outside their house in the afternoon, when he suddenly went missing.
About four hours later, Gupta received another call in which the kidnappers asked him to pay them whatever money he had arranged.
Following a preliminary investigation, the police picked up a few local people, including Gupta’s neighbour Daya Nand, for questioning.
The police learnt that Gupta had recently sold his ancestral property, and purchased land. After Daya Nand failed to provide proper answers during questioning, the police interrogated him at length. The police said the boy was killed because he had identified Daya Nand.
“During interrogation, Daya Nand confessed to have kidnapped the boy with the help of his associates. He said that fearing that the boy would reveal his identity they decided to kill him. They strangulated him to death and threw his body in a drain outside the village,” said a police officer.
The police went to the spot and recovered the body, which was found packed in a bag with the hands and legs tied. According to SSP Sunil Kumar Gupta, the second ransom call was made after the boy was killed.
The police identified the other accused as Nikhil Bharti, Ajay Gupta, Rinku Gupta and Nitesh Paswan — all residents of Gorakhpur. The police are now looking for two others identified as Nitin Chauhan and Ajay Chauhan. All of them are in their twenties.
So far, the police have not found any criminal record of the accused.
Rinku Gupta and Nitesh Paswan are accused of providing a Sim card to Daya Nand on the basis of fake documents. The Sim card was allegedly used in the crime.
Gorakhpur Circle Officer Rachna Mishra said the dead body had been sent for autopsy, and the cause of death could be ascertained only after obtaining the report.
Taking note of the incident, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed the police to invoke the National Security Act (NSA) against the accused, and expedite the trial. He also issued directions to find if there was any lapse on part of the police. The government also announced Rs 5-lakh compensation for the victim’s family.
The government has come under fire from the Opposition recently for a spate of kidnappings and murders.
The abduction and murder of the 14-year-old boy is the third kidnapping case in the state in the last seven days. On Friday, Kanpur Police arrested five people, including a woman, in connection with the abduction and murder of a 27-year-old youth. The police have yet to recover the body.
The following day, the police rescued an eight-year-old boy and arrested five people, including a woman, in connection with his abduction. The kidnappers had allegedly demanded a ransom of Rs 4 crore.
In a tweet, former UP Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav said, “The news of the kidnapping and murder of a boy in Gorakhpur is heartbreaking. I express my deepest condolences to the family. Despite the continued abductions and murders, the BJP government’s silence and ineptitude have raised troubling questions.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines