The 14-year-old-daughter of a Ranchi businessman, missing since Friday evening, was found dead in Bada Talab (Ranchi Lake) on Sunday.
Local residents recovered the body around noon and informed Kotwali police. Three minor boys with whom the girl either spoke or met before her death have been arrested.
A Class VIII student of Bridgeford School, the deceased left her Garikhana home in Upper Bazar, hardly a kilometre from Bada Talab, around 4pm on Friday. She came back home around 6.40pm. After a while, she received a phone call and left again. When she did not return till late night, her father Suresh Agarwal informed police.
On Saturday morning, police launched a search with a dog squad. The dog led the investigators from the minor’s home to Bada Talab. Police, who suspected that she might have drowned in the lake, pressed local divers into action. But it yielded no result.
Arvind Kumar Sinha, officer-in-charge of Kotwali police station, confirmed to have arrested three boys, all students of prominent schools. “While one of the boys claimed that the girl had messaged him that she was going to die, another said that he spoke to her over phone. The third boy had met the girl on Friday evening and was even leading her back home. But on the way, the girl apparently met another boy and the earlier boy departed, leaving the two on the road,” Sinha said.
Residents have told police that they had spotted a boy and a girl fighting near the lake. They intervened and scolded the two, forcing them to leave the place. None saw the girl revisiting the lake.
The girl’s family, friends and businessmen under the banner of Narnoli Agarwal Sangh took out a candlelight march from Garikhana to Albert Ekka Chowk around 7pm on Sunday in protest against the police’s failure to swing into action promptly after the girl’s father approached them.