It was late on Monday, as a group of daily passengers settled down for their customary game of cards on the Agniveena Express, from Howrah to Burdwan. One of the passengers stepped on a gunny bag shoved under the seat. To his horror, the bag let out a moan and, then, moved. Inside, was a 12-year-old boy, allegedly abducted from the Posta area.
“There were two men who had drugged the boy, gagged and chained him and pushed him into a gunny bag, which they kept under the seat,” said Jainal Sah, GRP officer-in-charge at Burdwan on Tuesday. “The passengers rescued the boy and handed over the two abductors to us.”
On realising that there was someone inside the gunny bag, the daily passengers dragged it out from under the seat and started asking around who it belonged to. The two men shouted out that it belonged to them.
When the bag was opened, the boy was found inside. The passengers grabbed hold of the two men and thrashed them soundly, before handing them over to the GRP. The boy was under the effect of sedatives. He had handcuffs on his wrists and shackles around his ankles. The police had to call a blacksmith to free the boy.
“I was returning home from school on Monday evening when two men forcibly took me to Howrah station and beat me up when I began to cry. Later, they fed me sweets. After that, I do not remember anything,” Dilip Dubey (name changed), said in a Burdwan court on Tuesday.
According to the police, the two arrested, Dinesh Kumar and Ramkrishna Prasad, were residents of Bokaro. They were produced in court and remanded in police custody till September 10.
Dilip was made to spend the night outside the lock-up of the GRP outpost in his handcuffs. “We had to ensure that nothing untoward happened while he was in our custody,” a GRP personnel at the outpost said.
The handcuffs were removed once the boy was brought in a GRP vehicle to the sub-divisional judicial magistrate’s court. Dilip was in a soiled vest and black shorts. Dilip told the court his father was a Burrabazar trader. The court ordered that the boy be sent to Dhrubashram juvenile home, in Ariadaha.
Special inspector-general of the GRP, S.R. Das, said: “The two arrested men claim they are cloth merchants from Bokaro and have nothing to do with the kidnapping. The boy, Das added, seemed “a little mentally unstable and incoherent, possibly because of the effect of the drugs”. His father is being contacted at their home in Bally.