A FOUR-YEAR-OLD boy, who was allegedly kidnapped from a private school in Rae Bareli’s Kotwali area two days ago, was found drowned in a nearby pond on Friday. Following this, a mob attacked the school and damaged property and vehicles parked on campus. The boy, Noman, had come to Al-Hamd Public School on Wednesday to appear for a test, seeking admission to Nursery. City Kotwali police SHO Ashok Singh said that in her complaint to the police, his mother Maiser Jahan, alleged that he was kidnapped from school.
“Jahan said that she was asked to wait at the reception and a school attendant took her son for a test… When the boy did not return after a long time, she told the school manager, Afshan Fatima. The school staff then started looking for the boy but to no avail.” In the evening, Jahan got an FIR lodged against unidentified persons on charges of kidnapping, he added. “Around 11 pm Friday, Noman’s uncle, Raju, informed us that a local has spotted the boy’s body in a pond at Bairapur, about 500 metres from the school. We rushed to the spot and sent the body for autopsy, which confirmed he had drowned. No injury marks were found,” SHO said, adding that the viscera has been preserved for further tests.
Circle Officer (City) Sheshmani Upadhyay said school attendant Gyanwati and the two teachers, who had interviewed the child, told police that Noman left the classroom with a girl, who also had sat for the test. “The girl told us that she went to her father directly after the test, while the boy went elsewhere,” he added. “The school has two gates — one for entry at the front and another at the back for dumping garbage. The staff said that on that day, the back gate was open. He may have walked out from there,” said the CO. There are no CCTV cameras in and around the school.
When contacted, school manager Fatima refused comment. No FIR had been lodged against the school. Rae Bareli SP Shiv Hari Meena said: “According to the facts available so far, the child walked out on his own somehow. We are yet to find a possible motive behind the kidnapping.”
Asked whether the school authorities would be booked, he said: “It was school’s responsibility to safely handover the child to his mother. But the decision to initiate action against the school will be taken on the basis of the probe… A lot of things need to be investigated. If the school is found responsible, action will be taken.” The school has not lodged any complaint in regard to locals attacking its property, said police.