Rs 20,000 loan, 3 charred bodies, Class 11 suspect: Murders that shook MP’s Guna

Updated on May 30, 2017 09:50 PM IST

Three friends, who were neighbours, were all murdered last week, police say.

The main accused, who is a class 11 student, was arrested on Sunday night.(Reuters file)
The main accused, who is a class 11 student, was arrested on Sunday night.(Reuters file)
Hindustan Times, Guna | ByYogendra Lumba

When three badly charred bodies surfaced in Madhya Pradesh’s Guna town over the last week, police knew they were onto something.

But what has unfolded in the last 24 hours has, by their own admission, shocked even the police. A loan of Rs 20,000 triggered a murderous spree that left three school-going boys -- all of them friends and around 17 -- dead.

The main suspect is a friend, a minor and a Class 11 student, who was nabbed Sunday night. The same night another boy, also part of the group, was detained.

Details of the grizzly crime are sketchy but it all started when Hemant Meena, who lived in the Guna cantonment, gave a loan of Rs 20,000 to the main accused, Guna assistant superintendent of police Satyendra Tomar said on Tuesday.

On May 18, Hemant’s family had lodged a complaint that the teenager who left the house with Rs 40,000 to buy a motorcycle was missing.

Police began a probe and started questioning Hemant’s friends, who were neighbours in the cantonment. On May 25, Hemant’s burnt body was found by a roadside.

Two days later, another burnt body turned up near a railway bridge. Police were alarmed when on Sunday a charred body was found on the outskirts of the cantonment. The bodies were of two of Hemant’s friends they had questioned, Tomar said.

Police found that Hemant was last seen with the main accused and detained him on Sunday.

During his questioning, he told police he owed Rs 20,000 to Hemant, who had insulted him in front of his friends and asked for the money. He wanted to avenge the insult.

On May 18, he invited Hemant and four other friends for a party. They met outside the cantonment and got drunk and then four of them strangled Hemant, took away Rs 40,000 and doused his body in petrol and set it on fire, Tomar said.

The main accused then thought of extorting money from Hemant’s family. He sent one of the friends to Indore to make a call to the family, saying Hemant would be released on payment of Rs 50 lakh.

The idea was to throw off police as the call would be traced to a cellphone tower in Indore, which is around 200km from Guna.

But the friend got jittery and returned without making the call. The boy was nervous and would have cracked under pressure, the main accused told police. So, he strangled him, burnt the body and dumped it near the railway bridge.

He was not too sure of another friend, so he killed him and burnt the body. He had similar plans for the third friend but police got to him first.

The main accused had asked both his unsuspecting victims to get their own towels and petrol, police said.

The boy comes from a broken lower-middle class family. His father left his mother years ago and he was stayed with her in the cantonment area, Tomar said.

Mother of the main accused has also been arrested as she was aware of her son’s crime but did not tell the police.

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