Police have arrested five persons on charge of kidnapping and murdering an 11-year old boy of Amritsar. Victim Sushant's abductors kidnapped him on June 12 and after murdering him threw the body near a drain on Chabhal road. Tarn Taran police found the body and cremated it even as the city police were looking for the missing boy.
Those arrested are Harpreet Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Sukhchain Singh, Sarabjit Kaur and Palwinder Singh while the kingpin Prince, a neighbour of the boy, is still at large.
Sushant went missing after he had gone into the street to play. After the family received a threatening call, it approached the police on June 13 and a case of kidnapping was registered at C-division police station.
Even as police were trying to trace the boy on June 16, the family received a ransom call for Rs. 1 crore. But on Thursday, the family received the news that the boy had been murdered.
Police told the family that the body was found at Khalra village in Tarn Taran district and as it could not be identified, it was cremated after a post-mortem.
Giving details, police commissioner RP Mittal said, "The police were on the job since day one and the entire team was working to trace the boy. On Wednesday night, we got a tip-off that these people (those arrested) could be involved in the kidnapping. After they were nabbed, the preliminary questioning revealed that the boy was kidnapped for ransom and was murdered on the night of June 12."
After kidnapping the boy, the accused took him to the house of one Sarabjit Kaur. First, the boy was given a toxic substance in a soft drink and later given injections. Thereafter, the accused strangulated the boy, the commissioner said. The body was thrown into a canal on Chabhal Road, he added.
Mittal said, "Even after killing the boy, the accused made a ransom call to the family and demanded Rs. 1 crore. The accused told the family that once the money was arranged, they would leave the kid."
The police commissioner said, "The prime accused Prince is a neighbour of the family, and the other accused are his relatives. They planned the kidnapping for ransom and did it in an organised manner."
He said the Tarn Taran police found the body on Wednesday and after getting the post-mortem, they got it cremated. "The shorts of the boy have been recovered. Circumstantial evidence and our probe indicate that this was the same boy. We did our best, but it is painful that the boy was killed," he added.
The recovery of the body from Tarn Taran and the subsequent post-mortem and cremation indicated a lack of coordination between the Amritsar and Tarn Taran police.
Asked as to why the Tarn Taran police were not informed about the kidnapping, Mittal said, "We were working on the theory that the boy was alive."
Talking to HT, Tarn Taran SSP Dinesh Partap Singh said, "The body was decomposed and was hard to identify. The police followed routine procedure and got it cremated after the post-mortem." There was no lack of coordination with the Amritsar police, he added.
Meanwhile, Sunil Soni, father of the boy, said the Amritsar police had tried their best. Though the family thought had there been a better coordination between the Amritsar and Tarn Taran police, they could have at least got the body.