A five-year-old boy, who was allegedly kidnapped on Thursday evening, was found dead near a drain at Wazirabad in North-East Delhi on Friday.

Vasu, son of businessman Mukesh Gupta, was kidnapped from near his house in Usmanpur while playing outside.

According to the police, they received a call from a passer-by around 5.30 a.m. about a boy lying “unconscious” near the Bhagirath water tank on Gokulpuri Road. A police team reached the spot and found that the boy was already dead. The body was taken to Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital.

“The family had filed a complaint about Vasu going missing on Thursday evening. We searched for the boy, but could not find him,” said a police offer, adding that no arrests have been made so far.

A preliminary probe revealed that Vasu was murdered around midnight and his body then dumped on the main road.

According to sources, the boy was smothered. It is suspected that the accused may have used his bare hands as there were visible injury marks on the boy’s lips and nose.

Meanwhile, the family has blamed the alleged negligent attitude of the police for Vasu’s death. His uncle Jai Mittal said the family and neighbours visited the Usmanpur police station at 7 p.m., nearly two hours after he went missing, but the police did not cooperate with them.

“At 5 p.m. Vasu went to play and failed to return after 30 minutes. We got worried and began searching for him an hour later. The neighbours joined in too. When we could not find him, we went to the police station and filed a missing complaint.”

“Around 1.30 a.m., when we realised the police had not taken action yet, we went to the station again. There were three-four police officers, of whom only one was sent to find Vasu. Had they really been serious, they could have found him in time.”

Denying the charge, the police said they had launched a search for Vasu soon after the complaint was filed.

“The case is being probed from all angles. The family did not receive any ransom call, so it could be a case of personal enmity,” said an officer.

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