A trip down to the local video store turned tragic for the Bhangde family when their son was kidnapped and eventually murdered. The 12-year-old boy, who resided in Kamla Nagar, Dharavi, mysteriously disappeared from his home on May 27.
According to Crime Branch sources, the entire incident unraveled on May 27, when Shree, a Std VI student of a Pune boarding school had returned home to stay with his parents for the vacation. In the mood to watch a movie, he ventured out of the house to the local video parlour. “Hours passed but Shree never returned home. Anxious about their son, the family started searching for him and found that their son had not visited the parlour. Shree’s father Ravindra, who works in an embroidery unit in Dharavi, then approached Shahu Nagar police station and registered a missing complaint,” said Ravindra Bhandge, Shree’s distant relative.
“Few days later, Rajesh received an anonymous call informing him that Shree was in his custody and demanding a ransom of Rs 25 lakh. He was also warned of dire consequences if the police were informed,” added an official from the Shahu Nagar police station. However, Rajesh mustered the courage and approached the cops. After his initial complaint, Crime Branch officials from Unit V were brought in to investigate the case owing to its sensitivity. After they had issued a notice to all police stations for missing persons and unclaimed bodies, the authorities found Shree’s body in a gutter at Bhiwandi. Further inquiries into the case then led the authorities to arrest five people, including an employee from Rajesh’s embroidery unit, in the case.
According to Crime Branch officials, the two masterminds behind the plot — Imtiaz Shaikh and Azad Sayyed — who are now in police custody, hatched the plan to abduct and murder the boy. Authorities told MiD DAY that Shaikh was a former employee of the same embroidery factory that Rajesh worked for. Shaikh had a problem with Rajesh, owing to which he had been removed from the job. Meanwhile, Sayyed, who works with Rajesh in the factory kept tipping off Shaikh and the others about developments.
“After we found the body, we managed to trace the accused and arrested them. In their statements, Shaikh and Sayyed confessed to abducting the boy and said that two days prior to making the ransom call, they murdered the boy as they feared that the boy would identify them later,” said a Crime Branch official. The five accused were produced in Bandra metropolitan magistrate court and were remanded to police custody.
Confirming the incident, Nandkumar Mheter, senior inspector said, “The accused have been arrested. The murder was committed for ransom.”