A seven-year-old boy went missing on Saturday from northeast Delhi’s Ganga Vihar near Gokal Puri. On Monday afternoon, his decomposed body was found inside a desert cooler installed on the first floor of a temple across the street.
The boy, Sahil, was a student of Class 1 at a private school in Gokal Puri. His parents Mohammad Javed and Sana had separated four years ago.
Javed, who lives in Loni in Ghaziabad, accused his estranged wife and her male friends of killing him. Sana, on the other hand, blamed Javed for the murder and alleged that he was a criminal.
According to the police, Sahil was kidnapped from outside his house. The criminals strangled him and stuffed his body in the desert cooler.
Though they are waiting for the autopsy report, investigators suspect the killers may have sexually assaulted the boy before murdering him. A rope was found tied around his neck, police said.
Sahil had gone out to play on Saturday after which he went missing, police said. When he did not return, his mother got worried and called up Javed. They began a frantic search, but could not find him till the evening.
They approached the police, which registered a case of kidnapping and put Sahil’s photographs and physical details on the Zonal Integrated Police Network (ZIP Net).
The police pasted posters with Sahil’s photograph and other details and made announcements through loudspeakers. Other police stations in the city were informed and alerted about the missing boy.
A senior police officer said the body was found around 12.30pm when some children went to the temple to take prasad and complained of a stench.
“Some locals checked the desert cooler and found Sahil’s decomposed body inside,” said the officer.
VV Chaudhary, additional CP (northeast), said a case of kidnapping and murder had been registered against unknown persons at the Gokal Puri police station. Four teams have been constituted to investigate the case.
“There were telltale marks of a rope around the neck, suggesting that the child was strangled. Though his clothes were intact, we are not ruling out the possibility of a sexual assault,” added Chaudhary.