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Kidnapped jeweller son found dead

- 15-year-old’s body found abandoned in tea estate, police unclear on murder motive

Sepoydhura Tea Estate (Kurseong), Jan. 8: The body of a 15-year-old jeweller’s son, who was missing since Friday, was found in a deserted spot in a tea estate in Kurseong today.

Dipankar Sarkar, a student of Jorethang Senior Secondary School in Sikkim and the son of a goldsmith Gopal Sarkar, had been missing since Friday after he left his ancestral house in Patiramjote on the outskirts of Siliguri to take private tuitions at a coaching centre in Bagdogra, about 10km from his home.

“This morning, around 10.30am, we came to know from police that a boy’s body has been found in the Sepoydhura Tea Estate (15km from here). We rushed there and the body was of my nephew Dipankar’s,” said Chittaranjan Sarkar, the boy’s uncle.

On Friday, Dipankar never reached the coaching centre.

Around 2.40pm, when his father Gopal was getting ready to go to Jorethang on Friday, he got a call from his son’s cell phone. “An anonymous caller claimed to have abducted my son and demanded a ransom of Rs 20 lakh,” Gopal said on Sunday.

“He did not mention the place and time to pay the ransom. Also, no further calls were made since then.”

Gopal, who acknowledged the inability to pay such a high amount, filed a complaint with Matigara police.

His son’s phone was switched off which prompted the police to initiate an investigation.

Today, as The Telegraph visited the spot, it was learnt from police sources that some local people, while crossing the Sepoydhura area, which has been deserted since June 2010 because of landslides, noticed the body and informed the police in Sukna.

“Based on the preliminary investigation, he seems to have been strangled to death. The miscreants had also tried to set fire to the body to disfigure it, an attempt to avoid recognition of the body,” one of the investigators said.

As the news broke, the Sarkars, particularly the boy’s mother Sabita, sister Popi and one of his uncles Jogendra were inconsolable.

“Dipankar used to come here and stay with us during vacations. Ours is a known family and we do not have enmity with anyone. Also, given the economic condition of my brother, he was incapable to pay the ransom,” Jogendra said.

O.G. Pal, the deputy commissioner of the Siliguri Metropolitan Police, said: “We are not very clear about the motive behind the boy’s murder and are exploring all possible angles.”