The body of 12-year-old Rishav Jaiswal was found covered in a plastic sheet in the garage of his family’s two-storey home in Naihati, North 24-Parganas, on Friday.
The Class VII student was missing since Monday. Father Rajesh Jaiswal, who owns an ayurvedic medicine store, had lodged a missing complaint with police on Monday night.
The family said they discovered the body on Friday morning after initiating a search in and around the house to locate the source of a foul smell.
“I noticed something wrapped in plastic at one end of the garage where empty cardboard boxes are kept. I removed the plastic and found my nephew with his mouth tied with a piece of cloth,” said Satish, the boy’s uncle who is one of the owners of the house.
Rishav used to live with his parents, brother and two domestics in the house, about 55km from Calcutta. His uncle lives with his family nearby.
“He was last seen near the market at Gouripur in Naihati,” said an officer of Naihati police station. The officer said Rishav had returned from tuition around 7.30pm and gone out to grab a bite at the market.
“He told his mother that he was going to a nearby fast-food outlet for a snack. His mother did not object because he used to go to the shop often. That was the last time he was seen leaving home,” the uncle said.
When the boy didn’t return, the Jaiswals went looking for him at the eatery. The owner informed them that he had seen Rishav “walking with a middle-aged woman” after buying a plate of noodles.
The police said the body bore injury marks on the neck, chest and abdomen.
“The autopsy report will tell what kind of weapon was used to inflict those wounds,” said an officer investigating the murder. “It seems the boy was murdered at least 36 hours before the body was found.”
Investigators suspect that the assailant dumped the body in the garage after murdering the boy somewhere else. “A murder in the garage or in the vicinity would have alerted the people in the house,” an officer said. The garage on the ground floor has no door.
“We have spoken to the eatery owner. We have a description of the woman who was seen accompanying the boy,” the officer said.
The police have detained the family driver for questioning. The officers were trying to find out the motive behind the boy’s murder. “It seems the killer knew the boy or his family. It could be possible that the boy was kidnapped and the culprits murdered him when they found it difficult to keep him confined before calling for ransom,” said an officer of the Barrackpore commissionerate.