A day after a sub-inspector and a head constable were suspended in a case wherein a 'boy' allegedly went missing under mysterious circumstances from the Surya Enclave police post on Tuesday and amid his mother's claims that he was still a juvenile, the city police on Friday claimed him to be an adult.
The family of the boy, arrested in connection with a snatching incident, on Thursday accused the police of torturing him in lockup and then hiding him. The police claimed the boy had escaped from the police post after giving them a slip on Tuesday night.
Sunita Rani, the boy's mother, and other family members, have come up with documents, a Class 5 certificate with his birth date (as September 3, 1997), showing him to be young.
Police officials, who have been investigating the case, claimed that the boy was also booked at the Rama Mandi police station on August 19, 2012 in a snatching case.
As per the first information report (a copy of which is with Hindustan Times), a case was registered against the boy and his accomplice Chander Shekhar.
The FIR says that on August 19, 2012, Gurcharan Singh of Guru Nanak Pura west complained that two bike-borne youths, the boy and Chander Shekhar, snatched a silver chain his 12-year-old son Manpreet was wearing at knifepoint.
A case was registered against the two under sections 392 and 506 at the Rama Mandi police station and both were arrested immediately. The police said the case was still pending in the court and both were out on bail.
The police on Friday claimed that during interrogation at the Surya Enclave police post the boy admitted to have committed five other snatchings along with his accomplices at separate locations.
Additional deputy commissioner of police (headquarters) Naveen Singla said when the boy was arrested on August 19, 2012, he was minor but now he had attainted the age of 18.
"The police sought his one-day remand from the court since he was an adult. The boy admitted his involvement in five other cases of snatching," Singla said.
On Monday, Pooja Sharma, a teacher, of Guru Nanak Pura West complained that the same boy snatched her purse containing cash, documents and a mobile phone near her house when she was on her way back from school.
When she raised an alarm, some passerby chased the accused to a railway crossing and handed him over to police.
"The police tortured him and beat him up with shoes and sticks. When I saw him in morning, he pleaded me to let him go to jail saying the police would kill him," said Sunita Rani, boy's mother.
She said the police called her around 9pm on Tuesday to inform that her son had escaped.
Rimple Singh, the boy's father, alleged that the police had offered him Rs 50,000 for tracing the boy. Rimple is driver of Vijay Hans, Democratic Bharatiya Samaj Party (DBSP) candidate in the Lok Sabha elections.
The police lodged a case against sub-inspector Vijay Kumar and head constable Balwinder Singh under sections 223 (escape from confinement because of the negligence of public servants) and 224 (obstructing lawful arrest) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and placed them under suspension.