The Mumbai crime branch has released photographs of two suspects, who bought suitcase three hours before the murder of a 12-year-old, from a shop in Malad on January 8. Both the suspects entered the shop around 4pm and were captured in the CCTV camera installed inside the shop, which is barely a few metres away from the Malad railway station.
During investigation, the crime branch contacted the company which manufactured the bag and took the details of all shopkeepers and wholesalers in the city that sold its products. The crime branch officers inquired with several shopkeepers and checked footage recorded by CCTV cameras installed in their shops to zero in on the Malad shop.
“Both the suspects visited the shop around 4pm and asked for big trolley bag. My younger brother and one of the salesmen attended them. After finalising the bag, they gave a Rs2,000 note. The cost of the bag was around Rs1,400,” the shopkeeper said, adding, “Both were communicating in Hindi with the salesman. But conversed in their mother tongue with each other. Going by their dialect, they could either be from Jharkhand or areas bordering Jharkhand-Odisha.”
Earlier, the Tilak Nagar police registered a murder case against unknown person after the body of the 12-year-old boy was found inside an abandoned suitcase near Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) in Kurla. After scrutinising CCTV camera footage, the LTT police arrested a porter, Ramesh Sankat from Madhya Pradesh on February 1, on the basis of suspicion. The porter was seen dragging the suitcase in which body was found from the parcel platform. However, after interrogation police found that the porter was not directly involved in the crime.
During interrogation, Sankat had told the police that he had found the suitcase near the terminus and dragged it near the platform assuming it might have contained some valuables. But when he opened it and saw a body of boy inside, he got so scared that he fled the city that the police would come looking for him.
The Mumbai crime branch and the Tilak Nagar police then continued their investigations to arrest the killer as well as to search boy’s parents to identify the body. “The photographs have been circulated all the police station and also to informants to get leads about the suspects,” said crime branch officer.
However, 90 days later, the boy’s identity remains a mystery despite police scanning every missing person complaints filed in the city and neighbouring districts, said a senior officer.