Desperate to participate in a popular TV dance reality show and get famous, two dance trainers, both in their teens, kidnapped and killed a 13-year-old boy for a ransom of Rs 60,000.
The victim Swapnesh Gupta, a Class 8 student in a school in southeast Delhi’s Badarpur, had taken dance lessons from the couple, who are amateur dancers-cum-choreographers, for a brief period several months ago.
Police said the boy and girl, both 17 and residents of Faridabad, wanted to be part of Dance India Dance and had been promised by a contact that they could audition for it and even win the competition for a fee of Rs 60,000. The boy had participated in the same show six months ago but had been eliminated in the second round, the police said.
They hatched a plot to kidnap Swapnesh, the police said. They met him outside his school on September 15 and took him to Ranikhet in Uttarakhand on the pretext of participating in a dance show. There, they strangled him with his belt and pushed his body off a cliff after which they returned home.
Five day later, as the Badarpur police searched for the ‘missing’ boy, his father Rajesh Gupta, a security guard, received the ransom call. “We decided to accept their demand and act only after rescuing the boy. They asked the father to bring the money to a spot near a cremation ground in Faridabad. As soon as they got there, we apprehended them,” said DCP (southeast) Mandeep Singh Randhawa.
Since they met two years ago, the couple had worked as dance trainers in academies in Badarpur, Jaitpur and now in Faridabad, the police said. The girl was also pursuing a BA Programme course from a local college while the boy was a Class 12 dropout.
“My son seems to have been fond of dancing and had joined the couple for just a fortnight while they worked at a dance academy close to our house. We were unaware of his new hobby,” said the victim’s father.