Eleven days after they were kidnapped from their schoolbus at gunpoint in Madhya Pradesh, the bodies of twin brothers Priyansh and Shreyansh were recovered from the Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh late on Saturday. Police have arrested six people in this connection.
Aged less than six, the two brothers studied in upper KG at Sadguru Public School in MP’s Chitrakoot and had boarded the schoolbus on February 12 to return home, police said. While the bus was still on the school premises, two masked men entered it, threatened school staff with countrymade guns and took the twins away on a bike, said police.
The twins’ father Brijesh Rawat runs a business of medicated oil and lives in UP, not far from the state’s border with MP. A few days ago, the police had claimed that they were close to cracking the case and suggested that someone known to the family was involved in the kidnapping. However, by the time the police made their first arrest, the twins were dead.
Police said on Sunday that the kidnappers tied the twins together and then tied huge stones to them before dumping them in the Yamuna in UP’s Banda district.
The police added that post mortem will reveal if the two were strangulated before being dumped into the river.
According to police, the family had paid a ransom of Rs 20 lakh to the kidnappers — the twins’ father confirmed this — but they demanded more money. It is learnt that the boys were alive when the ransom was paid, but the kidnappers killed them out of fear that the twins would identify them later.
Police have arrested five people from UP and one from MP for allegedly abducting and killing the boys and plotting the crime. All the six are in their 20s. While Raju Dwiwedi, Lucky Tomar, Rohit Dwiwedi, Ramkesh Yadav and Pintu Ramswaroop Yadav belong to UP, Padma Shukla is from MP.
IG (Rewa Range) Chanchal Shekhar told The Indian Express that the police have recovered the ransom money, an SUV and four bikes used in the crime.
The police said Padma was the mastermind in the crime. Ramkesh taught the twins at their home and had allegedly told the others that Rawat had money, police said.
Police also said the kidnappers used phones of different persons to make the ransom calls. They added that a passerby whose phone they borrowed to make a call found it suspicious and clicked a photograph of the registration number of the caller’s bike and shared it with police, leading to the arrest of Raju Dwiwedi. Police said Raju told them that Padma and Lucky had hatched the plot. The two, police said, had told them that they dumped the boys in the river because they were scared that they might identify them later.
DGP V K Singh said the case will be tried in a fast-track court and attempts would be made to ensure capital punishment for accused.
The Congress, meanwhile, released photographs of some of the accused with BJP leaders and targeted the UP government over the incident. The BJP, on the other hand, has slammed the Kamal Nath government in MP.
Recovery of the bodies sparked anger among Chitrakoot residents and some people indulged in stone-pelting and arson on Sunday. The police used force to disperse the mob and later clamped prohibitory orders in the town.