Five days after a Ranchi-based marble businessman was abducted, police recovered his body from Pattharchatta forest in Chatra district Saturday night.
Police sources said two persons — Saryu Mahato and Kameshwar Oraon — have been arrested in the case. One pistol, two cartridges and a mobile phone have been recovered from them. Four others have been identified.
Raju Mandal, owner of Shiv Shakti Marbles on Ratu Road, was abducted from his godown near his residence in Ranchi’s Pandra area on February 29. His family had received a ransom call of Rs 1 crore the same night.
“Mandal’s body was recovered from deep inside the Pattharchatta forest, a Naxalaffected area in Chatra’s Tandwa block,” said SP Kaushal Kishore.
The criminals had taken the trader to Bara village under the Balumath police station area after kidnapping him, police said. They killed him on March 4 and threw his body in Tandwa.
The body was brought to Ranchi on Sunday morning from where it was taken to his native village in Giridih for the last rites, police said.
Kishore denied comments on the arrests but said that the gang behind crime had been identified.
Police sources said that based on the interrogation of the three arrested raids are being carried out in Chatra.
The Jharkhand police had engaged the special branch and the CID in the case amid growing pressure from the business fraternity.
A police official linked to the probe, on the condition of anonymity told HT, that the body was recovered from an area where only Left-wing extremists groups have access.
“We presume that the criminals, by throwing body in the forest, tried to divert the probe and link it to extremists,” he said. Police had leads that Mandal was lured out of his godown on February 29 evening by a person dressed in police uniform who claimed to be Special Task Force personnel.
“Mandal was told that there was some marble related work at the Jharkhand Jaguar headquarters. He believed the person and agreed to visit the work site. We suspect he was then put in a car with help of other men and abducted,” said senior SP, Ranchi, Kuldeep Dwivedi.
In her FIR, Mandal’s wife, Manju said her husband had told the man in the police uniform that he would go to their headquarters on his bike, but the man insisted on taking the ride in his Bolero.