Minor girl kidnapped from near Kalyanpuri three days ago murdered, body found in Modinagar fields
The body of a nine-year-old girl, who was kidnapped from east Delhi’s Khichripur three days ago, was found in the sugarcane fields of a village in Modinagar, near Ghaziabad, on Friday morning, the police said, adding that the autopsy has ruled out sexual assault.
Four alleged kidnappers, who live in the same neighbourhood as the girl’s family, have been arrested in connection with the kidnap and murder.
The arrested persons were identified by their first names -- Johnny alias Shiva, the key suspect, his cousin Naresh, Kailash and Tarun. “In the kidnapping and murder case of Kalyanpuri, four persons have been arrested and the weapon of the offence has been recovered,” said deputy commissioner of police (east) Deepak Yadav.
Police said the four had kidnapped the girl, who was playing outside her home, to demand a ransom from her family.
Shiva lured her to a van after promising her a ride. The other suspects were already in the vehicle. They took her to a village in Modinagar and were planning to call the girl’s family to demand a ransom for her safe release. However, when they learnt that the police had leads that could end in their arrest, the men panicked and allegedly killed the girl by smashing her head with an iron rod, the police said.
“They killed the girl and threw her body in the sugarcane fields. The body was recovered after the interrogation of the arrested suspects,” the officer said.
As news of the girl’s murder spread through the neighbourhood, violence broke out by evening, with several people pelting stones at police personnel, alleging that the police had not taken the kidnapping complaint seriously and it was their laxity that led to her murder.
A couple of police vehicles were damaged in the stone pelting. At least three persons were detained for the violence while police presence in the neighbourhood was intensified to maintain law and order.
The girl’s murder also took on a political colour, as one of the wards in the area is going to municipal by-polls on Sunday.
Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) legislator from Kalkaji Atishi said, “Despite having CCTV footage, the Delhi Police could not save the missing girl, even though there was heavy police presence in the area when BJP leaders came here to campaign for the municipal by-polls. People of Delhi, especially Dalits, feel unsafe because the Delhi Police is incapable of protecting their lives.”
A senior Delhi Police officer, who did not want to be named, said it was a blind kidnapping case and the investigating team had been trying to gather leads from the day the case was registered.
“The CCTV footage helped us get some leads about the suspects but their whereabouts were not known as they had switched off their cellphones. We searched the key suspect’s house and found the box of his newly purchased mobile phone. Through its IMEI number, we found that the phone’s last location was Modinagar. But by the time we could arrest him and the other three suspects, they had already killed the girl,” the officer said.
Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said, “It is a sad incident, our sympathies are with the bereaved family and we will meet them soon. We urge political parties not to politicalise such a sad incident.”