Nagpur:Nine year old Sujal Wasnik who has been mssing from Lihigaon in Kamptee since September 16 was still beyond trace even as the main accused who slit his throat in police custody was lying in ICU. As cops were unable to interrogate the accused, the family of 9-year-old Sujal are fearing the well-being of their child. The case surfaced on Tuesday, after a neighbour who tried to collect a ransom, was caught by the boy’s relatives, and slit his throat in police custody before he could be presented in court.
The probe, which was moving at a snail’s pace earlier, picked up momentum on Wednesday as many more police units were roped in. The cops had been caught napping earlier, when the main suspect, Ramdas Madavi, tried to slit his throat in the lock-up of Kamptee police on Tuesday.
The grieving Wasniks now feel that the few lakhs they got by selling an ancestral property has led to too much anguish. Until now, the family has never had any enmity or dispute with anyone in the neighbourhood, including the Madavis or Sunil Meshram, who have been arrested so far.
The cops are now quizzing another neighbour Sagar Bagde, on whose mobile the ransom call from Madavi had come on three occasions. From the first demand of Rs10 lakh, the ransom had been negotiated down to Rs4 lakh.
Police are suspicious of Bagde since Madavi had asked the Wasniks to pay the ransom through him. Bagde, after handing over the bag (containing a raincoat instead of the ransom) to Madavi, had opted to go to the petrol pump to find Sujal as per the telephonic conversation with the ransom seeker. Madavi was followed by Sujal’s uncle Tejpal, who managed to nab him with the help of villagers at Narsala, and handed him over to Kamptee police.
Sujal had not returned on September 16 after going out to play with friends. His mother Shilpa and the rest of the family searched for him before approaching Kamptee police late the same evening. It has been an excruciating wait for the family since then.
The police machinery, whose focus was on President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to Kamptee on September 22, appears to have taken the case lightly at first. Now, seven teams from Kamptee and other adjoining police stations, another five from crime branch, and cyber cell experts to analyse calls and location of Madavi’s phone, have been pressed into action. Senior level officers too are working on the case now.
With Madavi in ICU with a bandaged neck, cops are facing a predicament asthey cannot quiz the prime suspect, who had made two ransom calls to the Wasniks on September 24 and 25. Madavi had also promised to reveal the location of the kidnapped boy, claiming he was with him. Cops are still wondering why the ransom calls were made a week after the abduction.
The Madavi family, who are next door neighbours of the Wasniks, has a similar lifestyle as the victim’s family. Most family members are too stunned by the events to speak. Madavi’s father Babulal expresses solidarity with the Wasniks, but is also sympathetic about his son. “He was never violent and we cannot believe he has done it,” he said.
ACP, Kamptee division, Rajesh Pardeshi said the case is now being probed from every possible angle.