More than two months after the body of a 12-year-old boy was found in a trolley bag near Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), the police cracked the case and arrested six persons.
A police official said that the boy was employed as a child labour in a small imitation jewellery manufacturing unit that made bangles in Kurar village, Malad. He has been identified as Randheer Sahani from Bihar.
The six people arrested for the alleged murder are Shivnath Sahani, 36, his wife Renudevi, 35, son Ranvijay, 20, and accomplices Krishna Sahani, 28, Ramanand Sahani, 45, and Vinay Sahani, 33. The last three are relatives and worked in the same unit at the jewellery unit. “The son of the manufacturing unit’s owner, Ranvijay, killed the boy. The rest of the accomplices helped in disposing the body,” said Manoj Lohia, additional commissioner of police, east region.
According to the police, Ranvijay was furious as Randheer woke up late for work and did not help in small chores such as cooking. Around 11pm on January 7, Ranvijay accosted the boy and slapped him. He then smothered Randheer with his hands till he collapsed. Ranvijay’s parents had witnessed the incident, said a police source.
The next day, Ranvijay purportedly tried to revive the boy and sprinkled water on his face but to no avail. When he realised that Randheer was dead Ranvijay went to a shop with Krishna and bought a trolley bag. They tied up the boy’s limbs with a towel and shoved him inside the trolley.
“The accused wanted to dispose the body in Bihar and so Ranvijay and his parents took a taxi to LTT while the other accused followed in bikes. They had planned to board the Puri Express to reach Bihar,” said Shahji Umap, deputy commissioner of police, zone 6. “But when they saw the metal detectors at the station, they panicked and abandoned the bag at the station,” he added.
A porter saw the family abandoning the bag, said the police. He dragged it inside the LTT station and opened it to discover the body. This incident was caught on the CCTV cameras and was widely circulated which led the police to trace and arrest the porter. He was nabbed in Madhya Pradesh and he told the police that he only took the bag expecting to find valuables in it.
“We thought we had reached a dead end when we realised that the porter was not directly involved with the child’s murder. We then traced the bag seller to Malad and acquired their CCTV footage which revealed the faces of the two accused who had bought the bag,” said Vijay Khaire, senior police inspector, Tilak Nagar police station. He added, “We then traced the accused and nabbed them.”
The boy had come to the city six months ago. After the child’s death, Ranvijay’s accomplice Sahani went to meet the parents and gave them Rs1.11 lakh and told them that the boy had died of some disease.