| Subham Singh
Calcutta, Sept. 17: A four-year-old boy kidnapped from home by his private tutor yesterday was found drowned in a pond yards from the house in Behala this morning.
Subham Singh lay gagged and blindfolded, his hands and feet tied with strips torn from a sari, his body bloated and his skin bleached by the water.
Manoj Prasad, a 22-year-old BCom student and next-door neighbour, had left a ransom note but meant to kill the child anyway to avoid being identified by him, police said.
Manoj has been arrested with four relatives of Subham who, the tutor has reportedly told the police, put him on the job.
Manoj had arrived at 11.30 am at the house in P.N. Mitra Lane to teach Subham. Nobody saw the two of them walk outan hour later.
Around 1 pm, as he began looking around for his young grandson, a diabetic Lakh Deo Singh picked up the ransom note, left amateurishly near the main door.
It was written in Manoj’s own hand — which Subham’s mother Sova recognised immediately. It asked for Rs 60 lakh, of which Rs 5 lakh was to be left the same afternoon on the roof of an abandoned garage adjacent to Manoj’s home.
It was 5 pm when Manoj was arrested. By then, a drugged and trussed Subham was already dead.
Manoj had thrown the boy off the roof of his house and, after he landed on a thicket near the pond, shoved him into the water.
Suspicion had already fallen also on Lakh Deo’s brother Inder Deo Singh and his four sons — bitter but unsuccessful business rivals of Subham’s father Rajesh. The two branches of the family had had a fight in March.
The police have rounded up Inder Deo and three of his sons — Umesh, Dinesh and Ramesh. Around four, Subham’s body was fished out.
Officers said Manoj had bargained for the family paying up the first instalment of the ransom before Subham’s body was found, and had decided Rs 5 lakh was good enough.