Bihar finance minister Bijendra Yadav’s 12-year-old grandson Manish Kumar, who went missing a week ago, had been abducted, police said on Sunday.
Family members searched for Manish since he went missing on July 1 and later lodged an FIR with the Kishanpur police station in Supaul district. Initially, the police kept the matter under wraps as it was a high-profile case.
Manish is a student of Class 7 at NM Public School, Parsa, in Supaul district, around 150km from state capital Patna.
Bihar director general of police PK Thakur said Manish was on his way to school after the summer vacation when he was abducted. “I have instructed senior police officials to probe into the matter and ensure that the boy is traced and returned to his family safely,” he added.
Bijendra Yadav said he was optimistic that his grandson would be found soon. “Manish had been admitted to a newly opened convent at Parsa and he used to go there from his home in Belaukhra village under Pipra block in the district,” he said.
No ransom demand had been made yet, added Bijendra Yadav.
The police are searching at all possible places and coordinating with their counterparts in the adjoining districts, said Supaul superintendent of police Sudhir Kumar Porika.
Investigation revealed that a labourer, Sulekha Devi, had tried to free Manish from his kidnappers when they were taking him away on a cycle. At that time, it was raining and the abductors allegedly said Manish was their nephew and they were taking him home to protect him from the rain.
According to a police officer familiar with the case, land dispute could be the motive for the abduction. “Someone close to the family and known to the boy might be behind the kidnapping,” he said.
On Monday, district magistrate LP Chouhan and Porika visited the minister’s home in Supaul and later met the director and students of the school where Manish studied and made enquiries.
“The family and the police carried out raids at various places, but so far Manish has not been found,” said his uncle Bambam Yadav.
The boy’s father, Parmeshwari Prasad Yadav, is the principal of a degree college in Supaul, while his mother Gita Devi, the minister’s daughter, is a former sarpanch of Thumha panchayat in Supaul.