Writing: Teacher Loves Students.
One sentence, written repeatedly on double-spaced lines by Subham Singh in his exercise book. The homework assigned by Manoj Prasad was dug out three days after the four-year-old was kidnapped, tortured and killed by his 22-year-old tutor.
“Manoj was like an extension of our family and so, we hardly ever asked him about Subham’s studies. We had full faith in him…,” mumbled father Rajesh Singh.
The words were drowned by the chants of “swaha”, as the bereaved family performed the shradh ceremony of their beloved son on Tuesday afternoon at their Behala home.
“We have removed everything of Subham — his shoes, the school bag, his chappal… to one corner of the house. Neither his mother nor I can look at them,” added Rajesh.
Police, meanwhile, are looking at all possible angles. Following the arrest of Inder Deo Singh and his three sons, along with family friend Binoy Pathak, late on Monday, police have decided to pit accused Manoj Prasad against his alibi.
| Posters up in the Behala locality seeking support to ostracise the two families. Picture by Amit Datta
Subham’s tutor has told police that he had kidnapped and murdered the kid at the behest of some family members — led by Inder Deo, a brother of Subham’s grandfather Lakh Deo Singh — a charge vehemently denied by them.
“It could be that Manoj is trying to hoodwink us, but we are not taking chances. Once they face each other, the truth will emerge,” claimed an officer of Behala police station.
In the FIR lodged with Behala police, Subham’s father Rajesh Singh had named these five — including three of Inder Deo Singh’s sons, Rajesh, Umesh and Dinesh — accusing them of having played a part in the murder of his first-born.
On Tuesday, they were produced in a city court, where Inder Deo and Umesh were remanded in judicial custody for 14 days. The rest got police custody for eight days.
“We still believe that Manoj couldn’t have done this on his own. He was employed to kill Subham by my brother and his three sons, who couldn’t tolerate our rise in business,” alleged Lakh Deo, leafing through his grandson’s exercise books.
The residents of the PN Mitra Lane, meanwhile, have announced their verdict — they want all the accused out of their para. On Tuesday afternoon, they put up posters demanding that “Manoj Prasad’s family and Inder Deo’s family be ostracised”.
Some even admitted that they were waiting for “RAF personnel to be withdrawn” to wreak vengeance.