Mumbai/Nagpur: A ten-year-old boy from Kalyan was kidnapped and murdered by a gang of three who wanted a ransom of Rs 15 lakh from his father, a prosperous jeweller and stock market investor.
Hours after kidnapping the boy, the accused lost their nerve and murdered him, but continued to demand the money anyway. They were arrested the very next day, when they turned up to collect the ransom.
The boy, Nayan Jain resided and went to school in Kalyan, where his father, Santosh runs the jewellery store Nayan Collection at Gandhi chowk. On Wednesday afternoon, the three accused approached him and told him his father had sent them to pick him up. The boy was convinced when he saw them on his father’s bike – a Pulsar 220 that had been stolen just a few days before. The accused took the boy to Vangani village in Ambernath and locked him in a bungalow there.
Meanwhile, Nayan’s father got concerned about his disappearance and registered a missing complaint with the police. In the evening, he got a call from the kidnappers and they made a demand for R15 lakh. After this, the police converted the missing person’s complaint into a kidnapping case, investigated by the Bazarpeth police, along with the Thane Crime Branch.
“The accused gave the boy sleeping pills, but later in the night, they became afraid that the boy would reveal their identity, so they killed him. They strangulated him and threw his body in a river near Murbad,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Kalyan division) Sanjay Jadhav. After killing the boy, the accused called his father at 3 am to once again make their demand for R15 lakh. They threatened to kill his son if he complained to the police. Then they gave him instructions on how to deliver the ransom money to them.
The accused later told the police they planned the money handover based on a similar sequence from the 1978 film Inkaar. They asked Santosh to board a train to Titwala with the cash and told him he would see a man in a black shirt and mask near the tracks between Ambivli and Titwala around 7 am. Santosh was told to throw the bag of cash towards the man in black.
Unbeknownst to them, Santosh was accompanied by a team of cops, led by PI Nasir Kulkarni from the anti-extortion cell. “After the train left Ambivli, the complainant saw the accused in a black shirt and mask and accordingly threw the bag of cash of Rs 15 lakh. The man in black and one of his accomplices were on a motorcycle on the adjoining road, and they fled as soon as they got the money,” said a Crime Branch official.
When the train halted, the cops alighted from the train and convinced a local to lend them his car. “We started our search and about 2 down the highway, we found one of the accused on the bike. We found the other accused in the jungle half a kilometre away,” said PI Kulkarni.
“The arrested duo led us to the third accused. All the three were arrested on Thursday. We got the cash, but couldn’t save the minor who was kidnapped as he was killed on Wednesday night,” said DCP Jadhav, adding that the child’s body was found the last afternoon.
A case has been registered at Bazarpeth police station under Sections 364A (kidnapping for ransom etc), 302 (murder), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence or giving false information to screen offender) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Eknath Shinde, guardian minister for Thane, said he would have a word with the chief minister to ensure the case was out on fast track for speedy justice.
The arrested accused are the mastermind Vijay Durgaprasad Dubey (19), and his accomplices Rajendra Yaswant More (24) and Deshraj Sonawri Khushwa (22). Vijay worked at a jewellery store that belonged to Santosh’s friend, so he knew that the complainant was wealthy. Rajendra was Santosh’s former employee, while Deshraj worked as a security guard.
According to the police, Deshraj wanted money for his upcoming wedding, Rajendra wanted to start a new business and Vijay wanted money urgently for an unknown purpose. The abduction plan was hatched over a month ago, when Vijay met the other at Mahavir Shopping Center in Kalyan.
“Dubey told the other two about the complainant’s background and said that if they kidnapped his son, they could easily get a huge amount of cash as ransom. They decided to demand R15 lakh. The accomplices began to keep a watch on the boy’s comings and goings and approached him at 3.25 pm on Wednesday,” said an officer from Bazarpeth police station.
The original target was the 3-year-old son of another jeweller, Lalit Jain. The accused told the police that they changed their target because they thought he might not pay up. “They claimed that Lalit was a very slow and careful spender, so he would not give the money in time and would inform the police. That is why they targeted Nayan instead,” said a Crime Branch officer.
On April 17, 2014, Rohan Ghuchait (12) went missing while playing in his building. He was strangulated the next afternoon and his body was hacked to bits. Cops found the different parts in nullahs at three different spots. Ten days after his disappearance, they also tracked down four of the accused and arrested them. Among the accused was an electrician who had been employed by victim’s father.