The maternal uncle of the two murdered kids has been arrested here along with two accomplices, police said on Sunday. A hunt has been launched for a fourth accused in the crime that started with the kidnap of the kids for ransom. The accused had killed the siblings as they could not get the ransom.

The decomposed bodies of Mansij, 7, and his sister Yashvi, 5, who went missing from their east Delhi School on February 26, were spotted by a taxi driver in the bushes near the Ring Road-Bhairon Road crossing in central Delhi on Saturday morning, police said.

The victims’ father Manoj Kumar, who works in a share-brokerage firm, received about seven ransom calls for Rs.30 lakh from the children’s maternal uncle and accused Amit Singh and his two aides, Pankaj Kashyap and Shivam Gupta, police said.

The three were arrested from their hideouts in east Delhi’s Mandawali on Saturday. Their accomplice Abhishek is on the run, police said.

“Amit Singh needed Rs. 6 lakh for a flat’s deal in Mandawali and Pankaj needed money to pay his Rs. 1.50 lakh debt. Shivam and Abhishek needed money to meet their lavish lifestyle,” said a police officer.

“The siblings were identified as the targets for abduction for ransom by Amit Singh who knew that their family had got Rs.30 lakh from a property deal,” said the officer.

“Based on suspicion, Amit was picked up by police for questioning and he admitted to committing the crime with three of his associates,” said Prabhakar, Deputy Commissioner of Police.

The victims’ bodies, when discovered, were decomposed and animals seemed to have bitten away some parts, police said. Both the children were in school uniforms which helped in their identification.

The siblings were kidnapped from outside Mother Convent School by Amit Singh around 1 p.m. on February 26. Minutes before the abduction, Shivam locked the main door of the victims’ house preventing their mother from reaching the school to bring them home. Amit Singh collected the children from school and Pankaj kept a watch on their house, police said.

“Amit Singh took the children to Pandav Nagar where he met the other co-conspirators around 2 p.m. The first ransom call of Rs.30 lakh was made from there. After that the accused made two more ransom calls on February 27 and 28,” said the officer. The children were later taken to south Delhi’s Mehrauli.