Panicked kidnappers kill boy even before making call for ransom
Powai police arrest two youths who allegedly kidnapped a 12-yearold and then strangled him to death over fear of getting caught
THIS duo had made grand plans of asking for R10 lakh as ransom after kidnapping a 12-year-old from Powai. But the two panicked even before making that call to the family and killed the boy.
The Powai police have arrested the accused and recovered the minor’s body from a spot near Bhayander.
The killers within
Ritesh Singh, a Std III student in a civic school who stayed with his parents in Powai’s Hanuman Chawl, had gone missing on Sunday afternoon.
The police said the accused — Amar Singh, 19, and Lalu Singh, 21 — were known to the family as they were in related lines of work — Amar and Ritesh’s father did fabrication and welding jobs in the same locality, while Lalu, a Bhayander resident, was into steel polishing. They all hail from Fatehpur district in Uttar Pradesh.
According to officers, the two confessed to the crime and told investigators that they had abducted the child for ransom but, on becoming aware that the matter had gone to the police, panicked and killed him out of fear of being caught.
The boy’s father, Bablu, told mid-day, “I came home from work to have lunch; Ritesh was playing then. After a while, Amar came over and spent some time with Ritesh, after which he asked me if he could go out with Amar. I didn’t think twice before saying yes as it wasn’t the first time the two were hanging out.” Around 2.30 pm, Bablu added, he called up Amar to ask about Ritesh; Amar told him that he had dropped the boy near home hours ago. “We started searching for Ritesh but couldn’t find him anywhere. I called up Amar again, telling him how upset we were. He promised to come over immediately but didn’t show up. We waited till evening and called him again, but his phone was switched off. After that, I lodged a police complaint. “I didn’t get any ransom call. I know both of them very well; we never had any quarrel or fight, there was no animosity. I fail to understand why they did this. But what I do know is that both of them should get the strictest punishment,” said a bereft Bablu.
Ritesh’s body, recovered last morning, had several injuries. It is feared that the boy was brutally assaulted before being strangled to death, an officer said.
DCP (zone X) Navin Reddy said, “The motive was to extort money from the victim’s father, but they got scared and killed the child. They have been booked for kidnapping and murder. They were produced in court, which sent them to police custody. Further investigation is on.” The ransom the accused had planned to demand VARSHA Sakpal, 20, was lucky to make it out alive in the Siddhi Sai building collapse, but according to the authorities, she did not suffer enough to qualify for compensation declared by Chief minister Devendra Fadanvis. This, despite the fact that Varsha was admitted in hospital for four days after being rescued from the rubble, and her name is also on the list of injured people.
Varsha told mid-day, “After I got discharged from the hospital, one of my neighbours said that the government had declared compensation of R50,000 for the injured. I found my name on the list of injured people, and wrote an application to the Collector. But three months later, I am still waiting for the money.”
She alleged, “One of the officials at the Mulund tehsildar’s office said that I was admitted for just four days, and the compensation was only for those who had spent more than seven days in hospital. He said that the only reason my name was on the list was because my financial background is weak.”
At the epicentre
Varsha was right in the thick of it all when disaster struck on July 25. Having recently cleared her TYBCom, she had just started working as an accounts executive at Sena leader Sunil Shitap’s hospital at the building — the same hospital that was being illegally renovated, resulting in the collapse.
She is now pursuing her Mcom and is supporting herself by tutoring computer students, as well as teaching Marathi and Hindi to Std V and X students. Even as she juggles teaching and studying, Varsha has spent the last few months running from pillar to post to follow up on the compensation, to no avail.
The other side
When mid-day contacted Pankaj Bisht, the in-charge of the compensation at MP Kirit Somaiya’s office in Delhi, he said, “I had received information that the amount was released from the concerned department at the Delhi PMO. Now, only the Collector’s office in Mumbai can shed light on this matter.”
Deependra Singh Kushwaha, Collector of Mumbai suburbs, said, “I was not aware that she was left, or why she has not received compensation. I will check the records and help her as per procedure.” Compensation promised by the CM
The spot near Bhayander from where the body of Powai resident (below) Ritesh Singh was recovered.
mid-day’s report on Varsha’s experience during the collapse