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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Bengaluru IT officer’s kidnapped son found dead, four arrested including friend

Sharath N, the son of V Niranjan Kumar, was reported missing on September 12 after he failed to return home at night. He told his parents he was going to meet his friends to show them his new motorcycle.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2017 23:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Niranjan (blue jacket), income tax officer whose son was murdered in Bengaluru, on September 14, 2017.
Niranjan (blue jacket), income tax officer whose son was murdered in Bengaluru, on September 14, 2017. (Arijit Sen/HT Photo)

The decomposed body of an income tax officer’s son was found buried in a stone quarry near a lake in southwestern Bengaluru on Friday after police arrested four suspects for the teenager’s kidnap and murder.

The 19-year-old automobile engineering student, Sharath Kumar, disappeared 10 days ago.

Father V Niranjan Kumar said he left home on September 12 saying he was going to show his friends his new motorcycle.

Around 10pm, the parents received a short WhatsApp video in which a distraught Sarath informs he was taken hostage and the kidnappers want a ransom of Rs 50 lakh for his release.

Also, he said the gang looked like terrorists and had threatened to hurt his sister if the money was not paid.

The family immediately contacted police and a hunt was launched to track him.

The cops used digital and field intelligence, besides mobile phone call record, to catch four suspects, including the teenager’s 20-year-old neighbourhood friend Vishal. Another suspect is said to be on the run.

The gang of five kidnapped Sharath to make “quick money and settle in life” but killed him out of fear of being caught.

Deputy commissioner of police Chetan Singh Rathore said Sharath was strangulated in a car around midnight and the body was then tied to rocks and dumped in Narasimhaiyyana Kere, a lake in Ramohalli on the outskirts of the Karnataka capital.

But the suspects found the body floating the next day and decided to bury it in a stone quarry.

Police said Vishal and his friends, Shanta Kumar and Karan Pai, hatched the plot of kidnapping Sharath, believing his father would pay handsomely to save his son.

Vishal exploited Sharath’s love for bikes to lure into a trap. He told him that a friend will be taking his new Italian Benelli bike for a spin on the evening of September 12.

Sharath bit the bait and agreed to join them at a housing complex in Kengeri satellite town.

The kidnappers had drafted Vinay Prasad into the conspiracy and were waiting in his car near the planned meeting point.

When Sharath turned up, he was bundled into the vehicle and the ransom video was made.

But they feared arrest if the hostage was released and murdered him, officer Rathore said.

Vishal is an agent at a regional transport office, Vinay is a private driver, and Pai is a factory worker in the Bidadi industrial area. The other arrested suspect is Vinod Kumar.

Shanta Kumar, who drives a cab attached to an app-based tax service, is on the run.

Vishal apparently had gone to victim’s home in Ullala locality and was with the family even after the FIR about the abduction was filed.

“By the time the FIR was lodged, Sharath was killed…,” PTI quoted Bengaluru police commissioner Suneel Kumar as saying.

First Published: Sep 22, 2017 13:05 IST

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