Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, August 23
The fate of four-year-old Yug who was brutally killed a week after being abducted in 2014 would have been different had the Shimla police not limited its search exercise to scouring orphanages in the first week of abduction.
Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was tortured, starved and forcibly served liquor before being thrown alive into a water tank tied to a rock. On January 29 this year, some MC employees found the skeleton while cleaning the tank after a jaundice outbreak, but threw it away without alerting the police, presuming it to be of an animal.
Abducted from the busy Ram Bazaar area in the heart of the town on June 14, 2014, Yug was killed on June 21, even before the first ransom demand was made. On June 14, 2014, Yuj’s father Vinod Gupta filed a missing person’s complaint at the Sadar police station. A criminal case was registered on June 16, while a letter carrying demand for Rs 3.6 crore ransom was received on June 27. Three more ransom letters were received subsequently. The case was transferred to the state CID on August 14.
The mobile location of the three accused — Tajender Singh, Vikrant Bakshi and Chander Sharma — suggested they were in the same area around the time of the kidnapping, sources in the police said.
Tajender, a neighbour who used to give tuitions to Yug’s sisters, kept an eye on the developments even as the police installed a CCTV camera on the premises of the victim’s family, sensing information was reaching the kidnappers.
Tajender and Bakshi were caught by the police in a theft case and the forensic examination of their mobiles suggested some photographs of a boy tied with a rope had been deleted.
The narco test of Gupta’s servant revealed neighbour Sharma could have kidnapped Yug for ransom and during search of his rented house, tracing paper similar to the one used in the ransom letter was recovered.
After the suspects confessed to the crime, the CID team led by DSP Bhupinder Bragata exhumed a part of the boy’s remains and the rock from a municipal corporation water tank in the Kaleston area of Bharari on Monday. For one and a half years, residents of Kaleston and other areas, where a large number of VIPs reside, continued to receive water supply from this tank.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate has remanded the three in five-day police custody.
June 14, 2014: Yug abducted from bazar in the heart of town
June 14: His father Vinod Gupta approaches the police
June 16: A case is registered at the Sadar police station
June 21: Tied with a stone, Yug was dumped alive in water tank
June 17: Ransom letter demanding Rs 3.6 cr received
August 14: Case transferred to state CID crime branch
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