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Missing boy ‘strangled’, hunt for body

- 11-year-old Sudhanshu was wrong person in wrong place, college-going kidnappers tell police

The Class VI student of St Xavier’s School, Bokaro, missing since November 26 is feared dead and dumped somewhere along GT Road between Giridih and Hazaribagh, police said on Wednesday following the arrest of his four kidnappers, three of them college students.

The body of 11-year-old Sudhanshu Kumar Singh, who apparently was the wrong person in the wrong place, is yet to be found though kidnap mastermind Vivek Kumar Singh — the son of a Bokaro police constable — has confessed that they strangled the boy in drunken stupor a day after picking him up from Sector IV and three days before pocketing the Rs 5 lakh ransom.

Bokaro DSP Sahdeo Sah said Vivek and his aides would first be sent to jail and later taken on police remand for further grilling. “We are not closing the case until we find the boy’s body,” he added.

The four youths in their early twenties, who were detained for interrogation on Tuesday, are all city residents. Besides Vivek, who stays with his mother at Police Lines in Sector XII, Sanjay Kumar is from Sector I, Satish Mishra is a resident of Sector III and Sanjiv Kumar hails from Sector III-C. Vivek, Satish and Sanjiv are BA Part I students of Bokaro City College. Sanjay runs a dry cleaning store.

“They have confessed to both kidnap and murder. They said the body was dumped along GT Road between Bagoder (Giridih) and Barhi (Hazaribagh),” said the DSP, addressing a news meet.

Sector IV officer-in-charge S.K. Singh said the gang had hired a car to kidnap another youth, a resident of Sector III, for a quick buck. “They did not find their target and in desperation abducted Sudhanshu who was returning from tuition,” the officer said.

They made him part with the phone number of his father — senior Bihar bureaucrat Amlesh Singh — and made the ransom call for Rs 20 lakh. The boy was taken to Vivek’s native Khaira village in Chapra district of Bihar on November 27. But, fearing police offensive in Bihar, he was brought back to Jharkhand.

The same evening, inebriated and undecided where to keep the boy, the four decided to “dispose him of”, police quoted confessional statements.

The gang, however, kept making ransom calls. The distraught father said he could pay only Rs 5 lakh and pleaded for his son’s release. The four readily agreed.

“The money exchanged hands at Masurhi, 25km from Patna, on November 30. The boy was not released the next day as promised,” the DSP said.

The family sought police help. Calls were traced and the four nabbed from Bokaro along with the cash on Tuesday. “They will charged for abduction and murder once the body is found,” an officer said.

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