A 19-year-old and a minor were arrested for the murder of a class three student who allegedly saw them engage in a homosexual act at a private hostel in Jharkhand’s Ghatsila town, police said on Friday.
Police said the accused, Birbal Soren, and the minor killed the young boy on June 26 night after he saw them the two boys in a compromising situation.
Ten-year-old Ram Chandra Giri was found dead with his head smashed in at the Bethni Hostel in Ghatsila, around 170 km from capital Ranchi. The hostel has 37 students, all studying at the Christian missionary-run Irvine Adventist School.
“Birbal and the other boy dragged Giri to the roof of the hostel and smashed his head with bricks,” said Anoop T Matthew, Jamshedpur senior superintendent of police (SSP).
A police source said Soren broke down and confessed to his crime after sustained grilling and being confronted with forensic details.
Police said several other boys also claimed they were sexually abused by Soren. However, they added that Soren’s homosexual relation with his accomplice, a 12-year-old class five student, was consensual.
Soren, who has been living at the hostel for about six years now, apparently failed his annual examination several times.
The young adult has been charged with murder and unnatural sex (sodomy) under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Posco) Act while the minor has been booked under the Juvenile Justice Act.
Police also named the hostel manager, Masih Das Minz, and his wife Sarita Minz in the charges under the Posco Act for failing to report previous instances of sexual abuse at the hostel to authorities. They are likely to be arrested soon.
The administration also initiated action to close down the hostel, which they said was running without registration.
“Other boys told us that they did complain about Birbal and his deeds with the hostel authorities, but no action was taken,” the SSP said.