Shock and despair prevailed in Verka town after the body of Gurkirat Singh (10) who was kidnapped on November 7 was found 20 metre from his house on Friday.
Though the police repeatedly stuck to their theory that Gurkirat was 'missing', their claims fell flat when the body of the child was recovered from near his residence.
The body of Gurkirat was in a bad shape and it was difficult to recognise him as eyes and face gave a sunken appearance. A mark on his thigh helped in identification of the body.
Gurkirat's body was spotted by some residents when they saw a stray dog sniffing around and scratching mud in a narrow street. Residents reached the house of Gurkirat and informed his family about the boy's death. The police were informed and they started investigations after sending the body for post mortem.
As the police strongly believed that someone from the nearby area was behind the crime, a large number of personnel started looking for clues in the streets and pressed a dog squad into service. Sniffer dogs were taken to the spot where the body was found. They followed the smell in the nearby corners.
A few days back, the police had rounded up some people of the area and conducted a thorough search in adjoining houses and villages.
However, the recovery of the body from a street near to the boy's house clearly indicated that someone from the neighbourhood was involved in the crime and had evaded the police search.
A pall of gloom descended the house of Gurkirat as the family was unable to reconcile the fact that their child had been killed. While Gurkirat's father Angrej Singh was in a state of shock, the family members claimed that they have no idea that why someone has done this to the boy.
Talking to HT, ADCP (crime) HS Brar who had been closely monitoring the case said, "It was very unfortunate that the boy had been killed. We tried our best to trace Gurkirat and even searched the area but nothing worked."
The police had also remained clueless for much of the time because the family had not received any ransom call or threat ever since Gurkirat went missing.
To a question, ADCP Brar said, "Somebody had thrown Gurkirat's body in the street recently, as, during our search, we had also searched the area thoroughly."
"From whatever clues we have got till now there is a strong indication that someone living near the boy's house is involved in the crime. We are working on the case and efforts are being made to nab the culprits," added Brar.
The police officer, however, ruled out the involvement of some professional kidnapper.
Ram Bagh station house officer Sanjeev Sharma said, "Earlier, a case of kidnapping was registered, but after the body was recovered we added Sections 302 (murder) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the IPC in the first-information report."
Nov 7 Gurkirat Singh (10) goes missing
Nov 9 Police register kidnapping case against unidentified suspect
Nov 15 Police search the area thoroughly
Nov 16 Body of Gurkirat found metres from his house