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Bestial turn to child murder

Calcutta, Sept. 18: The four-year-old kidnapped and killed by his private tutor on Saturday was sexually abused and tortured before being strangled and thrown into a pond.

The post-mortem report on Subham Singh also suggests the boy had a gag stuffed down his throat, was repeatedly hit on the head, and was chloroformed at some point of time.

“It appears that the tutor, Manoj Prasad, abused the boy sexually. It was really a cruel act and very bizarre,” said H.P. Singh, deputy inspector-general, Presidency Range.

After the murder, the 22-year-old tutor, a BCom student and son of a bank official, coolly went back to the Singhs’ home — next door to his own — and joined the search for the boy. He was arrested at 5 pm on Saturday after Subham’s family recognised his handwriting on the ransom note.

The post-mortem report puts the time of death between 1 pm and 2 pm, that is roughly an hour after Subham had walked out of his home in Behala’s P.N. Mitra Lane with Manoj, unseen by anyone.

“Subham had told Manoj he was eager to see a parrot. Manoj promised to show the boy one if he would come to the tutor’s home,” said S.N. Gupta, South 24-Parganas police chief.

“The murder was pre-planned. Manoj had bought a bottle of chloroform from a shop in College Street, planning to use it on Subham while kidnapping him. Although the boy came willingly with him, Manoj later used it on him.”

Officers said the tutor carried out the entire sequence of torture, murder and disposal of the body in such a hurry because he wanted to finish the job before his parents, who had gone out, returned home.

When he went back to the Singhs’ home, Manoj rolled the used bottle of chloroform under a sofa, Gupta said. “We recovered the bottle today along with the handkerchief that was used.”

The police tonight arrested five more persons in the case, including four they had detained on Saturday.

Subham’s great uncle Inder Deo Singh and three of his sons had been picked up after Manoj told the police they had put him on the job. The four relatives have been bitter business rivals of Subham’s father. The other person arrested was Binoy Pathak, Inder Deo’s business adviser.

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