Couple held for killing scientist's son | india | Hindustan Times
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Couple held for killing scientist's son

Police today solved the mystery behind the kidnapping and murder of a defence scientist's 11-year-old son, arresting a young couple from Lucknow who were desperate for money.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2011 16:45 IST

Police Saturday solved the mystery behind the kidnapping and murder of a defence scientist's 11-year-old son, arresting a young couple from Lucknow who were desperate for money.

After weeklong investigations, the couple confessed that they abducted the boy for ransom money as they faced financial problems.

The amateur kidnappers lost their nerve when the boy got injured during captivity, and his father lodged a complaint with police. Jittery, the two smothered the boy to death.

C. Pranav, a Class V student, was kidnapped June 10 in Alapatinagar near his house. His body was found in an open drain June 13.

Police Commissioner AK Khan produced accused Rajni Ranjan Malik and Shalini Malik, aged 22 and 20 respectively, at a media conference.

"We did not want to harm him but we panicked after he fell down. We have committed a big mistake and are ashamed of it," said Shalini, who played a key role in the crime.

The couple married in 2009 and migrated to Hyderabad six months ago. Ranjan, who was a salesman, and Shalini, now pregnant, started scouting for a child of a rich family to demand a ransom of Rs.10-15 lakh to overcome their financial crisis.

The accused befriended Pranav, son of Rammohan Rao, a scientist at the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), and lured him to their rented house. Then, they gave him milk mixed with 'bhang'.

As the boy fell unconscious, Ranjan called Rao. However, before he could put forward his demand, the line got cut as Rao's phone ran out of battery. The same evening, Rao lodged a complaint with police.

The victim regained consciousness but sustained head injuries after falling down. Panicking, the couple killed the boy, stuffed his body in a gunny bag and threw it in an open drain.

Probing the case, the police conducted reconnaissance of the houses in the area and zeroed in on five houses which were found locked. Those who had shifted after June 10 included Ranjan and his wife.