AS ANGER continues to grow in Shimla over the murder of four-year-old Yug Gupta, whose skeletal remains were found from a water tank at Kelston in northern part of the town more than two years after he was kidnapped, the CID Thursday claimed that the arrested accused had confessed having subjected the child to physical and mental torture.
The child was kidnapped from Ram Bazaar on June 14, 2014, after the accused lured him with chocolates. Yug was forced to consume liquor, the police said. He then lost consciousness and was later taken to a rented house on Ramchandra Chowk.
On Thursday, the three accused led the investigating team to some of the places, including the house on Ramchandra Chowk , the water storage tank and the place from where he was kidnapped. The police have seized two cellphones from the accused, which were used to make video clips and sent threatening messages to the parents. The accused had starved the child and tortured him, the police claimed.
A senior CID official said, “Certain text messages and video clips were never sent to the parents as was planned and were deleted from the phone. We have now retrieved these. The child is seen crying and pleading with them to send him back to his father. Unable to get ransom from the families despite having sent three letters, the accused thereafter drove the boy in an unconscious state to Kelston — where he was dumped in the tank, using some stones tied with a small rope. He was unconscious but alive at the time.”
The accused made vital revelations to the police Thursday. They has also clicked some pictures of the child while holding a knife to his neck. They had planned it to send to the parents but later dropped the idea and posted only letters from Chaura Maidan post office.
“When taken to the house – where the boy kept was kept after the kidnapping, the accused Chander Sharma and Tajender Singh showed how they concealed his footwear and forced him to drink liquor,” said an official.
Ironically, even as the Shimla district police handled the investigations initially, Chander Sharma, the mastermind and a neigbhour of Yug Gupta’s father, had pretended to be a well-wisher of the family. He kept an eye on visitors at the victim’s house and also frequently visited them. “We had been zeroing in on a close family acquaintance and an insider. This clue came from the second and third letters sent to the family from ransom, where the accused had mentioned about CCTV cameras and briefs which the family used to provide to the police,” said DIG (CID) Vinod Dhawan, who is handling the investigation now.
Dhawan said the CID will file first chargesheet in two-three weeks and later a supplementary chargesheet will be filed once the investigating agency gets reports of the DNA samples and also narco-analysis report from Ahmedabad.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had assured the state assembly Wednesday that the case would be sent to a fast-track court for speedy trial and convictions.
Meanwhile, the Shimla Municipal Corporation has been directed to properly seal and guard all water storage tanks. “We have asked the Corporation to take measures to protect and lock all the water storage tanks and also conduct an inquiry as to whether the cleaning of the tanks were carried out on January 29, 2016 – after the jaundice outbreak or whether it was just on papers,” said Sudhir Sharma, Minister for Urban development.
Two Shimla MLAs – Suresh Bhardwaj (BJP ) and Anirudh Singh (Congress) – had questioned the municipal corporation over the ‘cleaning’ of the tanks and demanded an inquiry into how the skeletal remains of the child were found in the tank if it had been properly cleaned.
The police, however, say the cleaning staff concerned had found some bones but they assumed it that of an animal and dumped it carelessly.