Satyam Sagar (below) and the two arrested aides of the 16-year-old accused at Bokaro SP’s office on Monday. Pictures by Pankaj Singh
In one of the most sensational criminal cases to shock Jharkhand, a 16-year-old schoolboy was arrested on Sunday night for masterminding the kidnap-for-ransom of his affluent 17-year-old “best friend” on September 4.
The 16-year-old accused, who flaunted his pictures with guns on Facebook, is a Class X student of Bokaro Public School, one year junior to buddy-turned-victim Satyam Sagar.
The son of a senior education officer posted in Madhubani, Bihar, the accused knew Satyam since junior school in Purnea, where they studied.
Satyam was rescued from a general compartment of Maurya Express by a police team led by Dhanbad SP Anup Matthew at 10.30pm on Sunday.
Aides hired by the accused teen managed to escape from the train. Back in Bokaro’s Kurmidih area, two more aides, brothers Chandan and Kundan, were arrested on Monday.
The teen accused and the two brothers are being grilled at the Bokaro SP office now.
Satyam and his father, Central Bank of India branch manager Dharam Sagar, are in Bokaro to help the police with their investigations.
Like Satyam, the accused also stayed in a hostel in Bokaro. Admitted to the premier school a few months ago, the teen, who boasted a persuasive personality, made friends with criminally inclined youths. He hatched the plan of kidnapping his buddy for ransom with eight others.
His plan was devilishly clever.
The accused casually called an unsuspecting Satyam to City Centre, the shopping hub, on September 4 and put him in custody of Chandan and Kundan at gunpoint at their Kurmidih hideout.
Then, other gang members — not yet identified by police — fanned out to Bihar’s Chapra, Hajipur and Patna from where they made ransom calls to misguide Satyam’s parents as well as the police.
But, the 16-year-old, who stopped going to school, and his gang made slips. During a ransom call, the father was told “uncle, you have money, why don’t you pay up Rs 10 lakh”, indicating personal know-how. Patna SSP Manu Maharaj briefed Bokaro SP Kuldeep Dwivedi on call details.
When Bokaro police started making enquiries about Satyam’s friends, everyone pointed to the “best friend”, whose background check proved criminal links. The 16-year-old’s call details were enough to give the show away.
The young mastermind instructed Satyam be moved from Kurmidih. When police raided Kurmidih on Sunday morning, Satyam was gone.
But police had a stroke of luck. “We got a tip-off in the evening that Satyam was in Maurya Express,” said the SP.
Though the train had left Bokaro at 8pm, Dwivedi coordinated with his Dhanbad counterpart Matthews to trace the boy in the coal capital station.