A six-month-old baby boy was brutally murdered and his body dumped in a drainage canal behind his home in Ambedkar Nagar, Korukkupet.
The child had been missing from home since Wednesday night, and his body was found by his father in the early hours of Thursday.
The infant was recently christened Gokul by his parents, Rajesh (23), a welder, and Gomathi (21), after they moved into Rajesh’s house on 3 Street in Ambedkar Nagar two weeks ago. Around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Rajesh’s sister Rajalakshmi (15) was babysitting the child after Gomathi went to a nearby shop to buy groceries.
“The child was sleeping beside me and I was watching a TV serial. During the commercial break I turned around to find him missing. I ran to the shop to check whether Gomathi akka had taken the child but was shocked to find that she hadn’t,” said Rajalakshmi who was weeping after being taunted by women in the neighbourhood about being careless of the child’s well-being.
News of the child missing spread in the thickly-populated Ambedkar Nagar on Wednesday night.
Youngsters and women, bearing torches, began a search for the boy that lasted through the night. They searched all the way up to the platforms of the Korukkupet railway station.
Meanwhile, the boy’s father Rajesh lodged a complaint with the R. K. Nagar police station and a police team simultaneously made a search as well.
“Around 5.30 a.m., Rajesh came home and went to the first floor to freshen up. He gargled and spit into the canal in the backyard was shocked to find our son lying facedown in the drain,” an inconsolable Gomathi told The Hindu outside R.K. Nagar police station.
Rajesh’s screams woke the entire neighbourhood up and residents rushed in and picked the child up. The body was infested with ants. There were injury marks on the child, but the silver chain on his hip was intact, raising suspicions that the kidnap and killing could have been an act of vengeance, R.K. Nagar police personnel said.
Gomathi has raised suspicion about a couple who had come to reside near their home a few weeks ago.
“They showed an unusual interest in my son which was fishy. They went missing after my son’s body was found and their house is locked,” Gomathi added.
Gokul was Gomathi’s child from her second marriage. She has a daughter, Lithiya (4), from her first marriage to Mohan, a lights and sound technician from Stanley Nagar, Korukkupet.
R.K. Nagar police have registered a case of murder and are questioning several people including Mohan, relatives of the family and neighbours. Gokul’s body was handed over to his parents on Thursday evening after a post-mortem examination conducted at the Government Stanley hospital.