|The SMS that was received by victim Anil Kumar’s (top) elder brother Bhuvneshwar. A resident of Bihar, Bhuvneshwar forwarded the text to a relative in Bokaro. (Pankaj Singh)
A CBSE Class XII examinee, who was staying at a rented flat in Bokaro to pursue his studies and prepare for IIT entrance exam, went missing on Tuesday evening with one of his brothers claiming he received calls and SMSes from the kidnappers from two Andhra Pradesh numbers.
Anil Kumar, who was supposed to appear for his maths paper on Thursday, studies at Bokaro Public School, another student of which had been abducted, but freed last September.
The third son of a grocer-cum-foodgrain supplier from Dumri in Girdih, Anil stays at Sector IV-E with another student. His roommate Rahul Kumar told police that he last saw Anil at 5am on Tuesday when he returned after putting his younger brother Sunil, a Class VII student of the same school, on a Giridih-bound bus at Naya More.
Rahul, a Class XII student of SVM School, Bokaro, then left for tuition while Anil got busy with studies. Rahul returned around 7.30pm to find the flat door locked from outside.
“As I didn’t have a spare key, I waited outside till around 10pm. When Anil didn’t show up, I entered the house from the rear through a ventilator and found his wallet and mobile phone on the bed. I got alarmed when he didn’t return at night and informed his parents,” said Rahul.
Anil’s father Dayal Mahto, uncle, cousin and a neighbour rushed to Bokaro on Wednesday and lodged a complaint at Sector IV police station.
According to Mahto, his eldest son Bhuvneshwar Prasad, who works as a mobile tower contractor at Aurangabad in Bihar, received two calls and two SMSes from the kidnappers.
“The SMSes and calls came from two unknown numbers of Andhra Pradesh. The kidnappers didn’t mention the ransom amount, but gave a name and an account number where the money has to be deposited. They said they would specify the ransom later,” Mahto told The Telegraph.
The father seemed as baffled as the police at the kidnappers disclosing a name and account number when that information could easily be used to track them.
“We have taken note of the SMSes and the numbers from which the calls and texts were sent. We are probing all angles,” said sector IV officer in charge Sunit Kumar.
Teachers at Bokaro Public School described Anil, who completed his Class X from a Dumri school, as a bright student who scored more than 80 per cent marks in all subjects in his Class XI examination.
“The boy is very good in his studies. He was quite satisfied after appearing for English, physics and chemistry papers in the ongoing examination. Mathematics was his favourite subject,” said school director Captain R.C. Yadav.
Bokaro has seen a spurt in abductions of schoolchildren, especially those coming from outside, in recent times.
In September, Satyam Sagar, a Class XI student of Bokaro Public School, was kidnapped from Sector IV. He was released a few days later after his father, currently based in Purnea, reportedly coughed up a hefty ransom.
Eleven-year-old Sudhanshu Kumar Singh was not as lucky though.
The Class VI student of St Xavier’s School in Sector IV was kidnapped on November 27 last year. Although Sudhanshu’s father, a senior bureaucrat of Bihar, also paid ransom of Rs 5 lakh, the boy was found dead on December 7, killed by four kidnappers, three of whom were college students.
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