The skeleton of a child – who the police suspect is the same five-year-old who had gone missing in 2009 – was recovered from the septic tank of a house in Mandawali in East Delhi during construction work on Thursday morning.

The site was once a multi-storey house where the victim, Himanshu’s aunt (his father’s sister) lived and it was here that he was last seen alive. Himanshu’s parents have accused his aunt’s family of murdering him.

The police said the recovered bones would be sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory for determination of DNA. Suresh, who resides close to Plot No. A-94 of West Vinod Nagar, said construction workers spotted the skeleton in the eight-foot-deep tank.

The owner of the plot informed the beat constable that skeletal remains and a pair of white school shoes were found during cleaning of the gutter.

Soon he made a call to the Police Control Room and officers along with a crime team visited the spot.

The victim’s father Sri Chand was called and he identified the shoes as those of his son.

In the complaint, Sri Chand had told the police that Himanshu and his elder brother Priyanshu (then an eight-year-old) had gone to their aunt Munni Devi’s house to see Ramleela which was being staged next to the house. When he and his wife went to bring the children back home late at night, Himanshu was missing and Munni Devi’s family members claimed that they had no knowledge of his whereabouts.

Sri Chand also told the police that he suspected his sister’s role behind the “disappearance” of his son and a kidnapping case was registered on September 27, 2009. On Thursday when The Hindu spoke to Himanshu’s parents, they alleged that no action was taken against their relatives and the police did not pursue the case in right earnest. The case was subsequently transferred to the Anti Human Trafficking Unit and the police said they even conducted a narco test on the suspect but did not get any leads.

Munni Devi had vacated the house last year and had been living in another house in the locality since. Following the recovery of the skeleton, the police visited her new residence and found that none of the family members were present. A search has been launched for them.

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