Kidnapped boy, 13, found dead in drain
The body of a 13-year-old boy, who was kidnapped near his home in Gandhinagar, East Delhi, on Tuesday, was found in a drain in Geeta Colony on Wednesday.
Police said Utkarsh Verma, a student of Class VIII, did not return home after school on Tuesday. Later, his parents got two ransom calls for Rs 1 crore. A senior police officer said Utkarsh’s parents filed a missing person’s complaint in Gandhinagar police station on Tuesday, a couple of hours after his usual return time — 2 pm.
The parents received the first ransom call around 7 pm that evening. “They told police that the call was brief. The ransom amount quoted was Rs 1 crore,” the senior officer said. “Utkarsh’s father Mukesh received a second call around 8.45 pm. The caller said he would call the next day and inform Mukesh about where he had to bring the money. Mukesh informed police about the calls. Several teams were deployed and the search was stepped up,” the officer said.
Police said residents spotted Utkarsh’s body in a drain near Bhai Lalo gurdwara around 7 am on Wednesday. The body was taken to Sabzi Mandi morgue and Mukesh was informed. Police registered a case of murder after Mukesh identified the body.
Police said the body bore faints marks around the neck. Police suspect that he was either strangled or smothered to death.
Police said CCTV cameras show Utkarsh being dropped on the usual lane in Rajgarh Colony by the school pool car around 2 pm.
“However, he is seen turning into another lane. He does not comes back,” a senior officer said.
Police said they were going through call record details of Utkarsh and his parents. Officers said Utkarsh left his cellphone at home on Tuesday.
Police said Utkarsh’s family suspect an insider’s involvement. Mukesh’s friend Sanjay Kumar Jain said, “Utkarsh was old enough to not go with strangers. If he agreed to go with somebody, it must be a relative or an acquaintance. The kidnappers may have killed him as they were scared that he would identify them.”
According to police, Mukesh came to Delhi from Etawah, Uttar Pradesh, in 1987 and opened his jewellery shop in Gandhinagar.
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