Two youths — Upendra Sah and Ranjan Kumar — have been arrested from the Akaurigola police station area in Rohtas district for their alleged involvement in the kidnap and murder of nine-year-old Sujit Kumar.
The boy went missing from Bak village on March 22. The kidnappers were arrested on Tuesday. A woman, Asha Devi, was also arrested on the charge of providing shelter to the two youths.
Rohtas superintendent of police Manu Maharaj said: “Upendra and Ranjan told the police that they had kidnapped Sujit, a Class VI student of a government middle school, to pay back a loan.”
Upendra and his friend Jitendra had borrowed Rs 70,000 from a moneylender to start a business. But the venture failed and they were unable to repay the loan.
So they planned to kidnap Sujit, son of trader Dhani Singh. Guddu, another friend of Upendra who was in debt, also agreed to help them.
Jitendra was a frequent visitor to Dhani’s house and was familiar with Sujit. So he was given the task of kidnapping the boy.
On the pretext of reaching him to his relative’s house at Bairipur village under the jurisdiction of Natwar police station, he kidnapped Sujit and took him to Asha’s house.
Asha and her husband, Sunil Sah, were also promised a part of the ransom. But the plan went awry as the boy’s cries made the neighbours suspicious.
Upendra and his associates took Sujit to the outskirts of the village and killed him. They dumped his body in the Sone canal.
Maharaj said: “They had demanded Rs 5 lakh as ransom. Dhani Singh had first suspected his business rival Subhash Singh and his associates of kidnapping his son. The police arrested the accused but could make no headway in the case.”
He added: “Dhani sold off his house in Bak village for Rs 2.5 lakh to recover his son. But the kidnappers killed Sujit on the very night they abducted him.”
A special team headed by a sub-divisional police officer carried out the raids to arrest the kidnappers. Raids are on to catch Sunil Sah, Jitendra and Guddu, who are absconding. The SP also said: “Sujit’s skeleton and clothes were recovered on the basis of the information provided by the accused. A forensic team has been pressed into service to help the district police nab the others.”
“This is the first time we have come across a gang that kidnapped someone to pay back a loan,” he added.