Delhi: Boy’s family shielded ‘killer’ from cops, never suspected himdelhi Updated: Feb 14, 2018 00:18 IST
For more than a month, seven-year-old Ashish Saini’s family shielded Avadhesh Sakya from police interrogation.
“We knew that Ashish was to visit Sakya’s home the evening he went missing. But Sakya was close to us and we feared that the police would thrash him if we named him. So, we hid the information from the police,” said Ashish’s grandfather, Lala Ram.
When Sakya was finally arrested on Tuesday for killing the boy, stuffing his body in a suitcase and concealing it in his bed box, the boy’s family called up a senior investigator. “They have requested us to not beat him up. They still can’t believe that he was the killer,” said the investigator.
Sakya had been at the forefront of the search operation for the missing boy ever since he went missing on January 7, said DCP (northwest), Aslam Khan. On his advice, the police too had picked up and questioned several local residents.
Among those questioned by the police was a local resident who was caught on camera carrying a dead body on a motorcycle. The DCP said the body turned out to be that of the man’s boy who had died of illness.
While the male members of Ashish’s family trusted Sakya, it was the boy’s mother who finally pointed the finger of suspicion towards him.
“A week ago, I asked my family to inform the police that Ashish was to visit Sakya’s home the evening he went missing. He was the only one who had not been questioned. His insistence that we delay installing CCTV cameras at our home also aroused my suspicion,” said Ashish’s mother, Neelam.
So last week, Ashish’s family secretly visited the office of the district DCP, Aslam Khan, and gave them a go-ahead to question Sakya.
Sakya was allegedly furious on learning that he had been named as a suspect. “Sakya stopped visiting the boy’s home. He called his parents to his home. Sakya’s father threatened to kill Ashish’s father if Sakya got into trouble,” said the DCP.
“The last time he visited our home, he was furious at us for having served him cold rotis and threw the food away. We alerted the police about this changed behaviour,” said the boy’s father Karan Saini.
The police picked up Sakya around 6am on Tuesday after he had stopped receiving calls from the police for nearly two days. “We subjected him to sustained interrogation. He first tried to cook stories about another man killing the boy and forcing him to hide the body at gunpoint. But he soon confessed to the crime and led us to the body,” said the DCP.
This is the second suspicious death in Ashish’s family. In 2007, Ashish’s uncle had drowned in a canal in the neighbourhood. His family alleged foul play, but the case was never solved.