12-yr-old's kidnap-murder: Gift of gold chain to pet dog caught kidnappers' eye

Apr 30, 2014, 09:00 IST | Vinay Dalvi

Suspects began making extortion calls to jeweller in Kalyan after watching the family splurge Rs 3 lakh on their pug’s birthday last year, when the dog was presented a gold chain, cops said

Interrogations of the four men arrested for kidnapping and murdering a jeweller’s son in Kalyan reveal that the suspects began eyeing the Ghuchait family’s wealth last year, after seeing them spend a lavish amount of it to celebrate their dog’s birthday. The family reportedly spent Rs 3 lakh on their pug’s birthday, apart from gifting the pet a gold chain, cops said.

The spot near Kalyan APMC market where the legs of Rohan Ghuchait were found on April 17; the arrested accused being led away by the cops. Pics/Abhijit Deshmukh
The spot near Kalyan APMC market where the legs of Rohan Ghuchait were found on April 17; the arrested accused being led away by the cops. Pics/Abhijit Deshmukh

mid-day had earlier reported about Rohan Ghuchait who was kidnapped from his Kalyan house on April 17. His legs were found in a drain near the Kalyan APMC market on April 21, followed by the discovery of his mutilated body 100 m from the spot last Sunday (‘Kidnapped boy’s chopped body found near nullah’, April 28).

“We are gathering evidence. A team from Kalina forensic laboratory visited the spot to make the case watertight. We will fast-track the case once we submit a chargesheet,” said Dr Ravindra Singhal, additional commissioner of police, Thane Crime Branch.

Police officials said that the accused had been calling the family of 12-year-old Rohan ever since the extravaganza on his dog’s birthday on April 21, 2013. One of the four arrested accused, Ishaq Sayyed Shaikh, an electrician, often visited the Ghuachaits’ jewellery unit at Bazaarpeth and their house of Sundernagar complex for work, said the police.

He had also seen that 29 workers were employed at the family’s jewellery unit, and began ogling the family’s riches. “The accused thought the family had lots of money and made the first of a series of calls to Uttambhai Ghuchait, the boy’s father, in April 2013,” said a Thane police officer.

The accused said that they knew everything about his son’s movements, and ask for Rs 5 lakh if he wanted his boy to be safe. “They had noticed that Uttambhai switched off the phone for a couple of days after their call but did not approach the police. Encouraged, they called up Uttambhai again on Diwali and demanded Rs 10 lakh this time, but he switched off his phone again.

Finally, in April this year, they took the boy away on a bike, and wore helmets so nobody could see them,” said a police source. On the evening of April 17, the accused called up Uttambhai twice, demanding Rs 50 lakh.

Shaikh himself visited the family to see what they were planning and panicked after learning that they had informed the police. “Scared, the accused decided to kill the boy. They strangulated him and later chopped the body,” said a police officer.

Senior cop to be probed for lapses
The Thane police have also started an inquiry against Senior Inspector Ravindra Tayade of Bazaarpeth police station, who has been accused by the victim’s kin of delaying the investigations by citing election duty and brusquely dismissing their queries.

The senior cop was allegedly frivolous in his bearing, telling the family that their boy was good-looking and could have fled with a girl. Tayade also blundered on the job by allegedly visiting the family after the kidnapping in police uniform, which alerted the accused that the family had complained to the police.

He was on Tuesday summoned by Thane Police Commissioner Vijay Kamble for an explanation. Sources said that the case has been transferred to Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjay Jadhav, and an inquiry is likely against Tayade.

Arrested accused
The police have arrested four people in the case: Nilesh Salve, Ishaq Sayed Shaikh, Imitiyaz Abdul Sattar and Ganesh Patil. The accused were traced from their mobile location, after they had borrowed a cell phone to make the ransom call, and from the CCTV footage of the residential building where the victim stayed.

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