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4 held with ransom, boy not found

Four persons, including a police constable’s son, have been detained in Bokaro after a sum of Rs 5 lakh — believed to be the ransom paid for the kidnapped St Xavier’s School student — was found on them.

Eleven-year-old Sudhanshu Kumar Singh, however, remains traceless as does the hired four-wheeler the gang used to whisk the Class VI pupil away after tuition from Sector IV area of the steel city to an yet-to-be-ascertained location along Bihar-Jharkhand border on November 26 evening.

Sources in police said all the four suspects were in their early twenties and residents of Bokaro. While three were picked up on Tuesday from their Sector III homes, the mastermind — whose mother is in the force — was caught at Police Lines.

Though the gang is frequently changing its version on missing Sudhanshu, preliminary quizzing suggests that the boy’s bureaucrat father Amlesh Singh — a resident of Rohtas in Bihar — delivered the money at a prefixed location some 25km from Patna on November 30.

This also means that the family received ransom calls soon after the abduction and not since Sunday as it had earlier claimed.

According to what the suspected kidnappers told police, Sudhanshu was abducted at gunpoint and first driven to Barhi in Hazaribagh along GT Road. The youths made the boy part with his father’s phone number and made the ransom calls, which police managed to trace.

Soon after the gang returned to Bokaro — albeit without the boy — police rounded up the four for interrogation. One of the youths has apparently claimed that Sudhanshu was being detained in Ara, the headquarters of Bhojpur district in Bihar.

Officer-in-charge of Sector IV police station S.K. Singh confirmed that they were grilling the four youths, but the boy was still missing.

Bokaro SP Kuldip Dwivedi said teams had been sent to “different locations” following the first round of interrogation in Sector IV.

However, Bhojpur SP Satyaveer Singh said no police team from Bokaro had contacted them on the case so far.

“It is possible that raids are being conducted in Ara, but we have received no official communication,” he said, adding that they would extend help if needed.