Mekai Dhubri, 10, went missing on Sunday. His body ' with acid burns and slit throat ' was recovered from a bush near his Bhangore home on Thursday.
Police said Mekai had been kidnapped and when his father, a grocery shop-owner, had failed to respond to the ransom demand for a lakh, the goons had murdered the boy brutally ' sprinkling acid on him before slitting his throat.
The boy's decomposed body was spotted on Thursday lying in a bush, hardly a hundred yards from his residence in Bhangore, South 24-Parganas.
As news of Mekai's murder spread, residents of the area staged a demonstration blaming lack of effort on part of the police for the death. A roadblock was set up on the Calcutta-Bhangore road for several hours, demanding immediate arrest of the culprits.
Mekai went missing around 11.30 am on Sunday, while returning home from their grocery store. 'My house is hardly 200 m from my shop. I just can't understand how the goons managed to pick him up,' father Abdul Rezzak Dhubri had told officials while lodging a missing diary with Cossipore police station nearby.
The first ransom call came around 7 pm the same day at another shop close to Dhubri's. 'The unidentified caller asked for the ransom of Rs 1 lakh and told me to come to Bantala leather complex with the money. I told them I needed time to arrange for the amount and immediately alerted the police,' recounted Dhubri.
Cossipore police then contacted their counterparts in the leather complex. 'We jointly launched an extensive search. All possible hideouts and places in and around the complex were combed but nothing was found,' said M.N. Chanda, inspector-in-charge of Cossipore police station.
A caller line identification was installed at the Dhubri residence but when the second call came at 7.30 pm on Tuesday, the instrument malfunctioned.
'This time, the caller told me he didn't need the money. Instead, he asked me for two addresses of my relatives where he could send my son. I gave him two addresses in Haroa and Majerhat. He said my son would be reached there' But they did not keep their word',' trailed off Dhubri.
Around 9.30 am on Thursday, some women from the area spotted the boy's body. Cops from the Cossipore police station were called in.
'The boy may have been murdered before the second call came in,' said inspector-in-charge Chanda.