The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sedative killer in baby death

Calcutta, Dec. 25: Ganesh Palodhi was administered sedative by his kidnappers that killed him from an overdose, the Criminal Investigation Department said today.

'It is unfortunate we could not save the boy but the case of abduction and his subsequent death has been solved,' said Shyamal Dutta, the director-general of police.

The CID reconstructed the abduction of the four-year-old boy from Howrah and his last hours on the basis of the accounts given by the five abductors who have been arrested.

Jagannath Kanrar, the 45-year-old owner of a shop in the local Burikhali Bazar and a neighbour of the Palodhis, was said to be the mastermind.

The CID said Jagannath, who had a land dispute with Ganesh's father Siddhartha, a timber merchant, got his schoolgoing son to act as a bait.

The Kanrar boy visited the Palodhi home around 11 am on December 3, found Ganesh cycling on the near empty road outside, and apparently asked him to come along.

Ganesh followed his dada into the Kanrar house ' a two-minute walk from the Palodhi house ' where Jagannath took the child to a room and drugged him so that he and his four associates could execute the rest of the operation in peace, the CID said.

While they plotted the collection of a ransom not less than Rs 2 lakh, the boy was frothing at the mouth and died within hours in another room.

On finding the boy dead, Jagannath got Haru Sheet ' wanted in some robberies and already paid Rs 15,000 to kill the child if necessary ' to dispose of the body.

'Do whatever you would have done if you had got rid of Ganesh,' Jagannath told Haru Sheet, according to the CID.

Haru Sheet, with the help of Bapi Hudati, Kamal Hudati and Budo Sheet, shoved the body into a plastic bag ' leaving fingerprints on the throat that initially suggested strangulation. Then they dug a pit at the base of a fig tree close to the Palodhi house, dumped their grisly cargo and covered it up, the CID said.

The four had harboured a grouse ever since they had been driven out of the Palodhi timber depot where they used to work.

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