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Kidnap spree bothers police

A series of kidnappings, especially of minors, has unnerved police.

A 15-year-old girl was kidnapped and subsequently murdered in Araria on Friday morning, triggering protests by residents.

The victim, a resident of Jogbani on the India-Nepal border, had gone missing on Thursday night from a wedding she had gone to attend. Her body was recovered from a pond in Jogbani municipal area, around 295km northeast of Patna.

The girl was in her school uniform. The police claimed she was mentally unsound. “The body has been sent to the local Sadar hospital for post-mortem, which would reveal the cause of her death,” Araria sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Ajit Singh said. He did not rule out the possibility of the girl being brutalised before she was murdered.

The victim’s father, Jivan Sah, apprehended that his daughter was kidnapped. He reportedly told the police that his daughter might have fallen victim to the lust of some youths, who used to harass her while going to school with her younger sister, also a student of the local Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya. “We are looking into all aspects to unravel the truth,” the SDPO said.

The incident occurred close on the heels of the kidnapping of a Class X student of a Barahiya-based public school in Lakhisarai. Ankit Raj alias Golu, son of a former railway official, was kidnapped from Barahiya sub-divisional town on Monday evening. However, his body was recovered from a well on Thursday. The deceased’s mother is a teacher in a government school.

Lakhisarai superintendent of police Ashok Kumar said three suspects have been detained for interrogation in connection with the incident. “One of the three suspects was a former classmate of the deceased. It was he who had called Ankit, who was offered a glass of liquor laced with the sedative tablets. He was strangled to death and his body stuffed into a gunny bag and thrown into the well,” he revealed.

The SP said initial interrogation of the suspects has suggested that the three were hired goons and promised a hefty sum for executing the plans. “Efforts are on to ascertain the reason behind the killing of the minor boy. Property dispute could be one of the reasons behind the abduction and subsequent killing,” he said.

Barahiya witnessed another kidnapping of a Class VII student Rupesh Kumar. The victim had left his uncle’s residence on the premises of Barahiya referral hospital on Wednesday evening promising to return soon after paying the tuition fee of his teacher. The family suspected foul play when Rupesh, a student of Shantiniketan residential school, did not return till late in the night.

The kidnappings have unnerved the top brass of the police. “The cases of serious offences are reviewed by senior police officers to prevent such incidents,” said additional director-general (headquarters) Ravinder Kumar.


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