Telangana scribe’s minor son kidnapped for ransom, killed

Photo of Telangana Police for representation  

The kidnap for ransom of a nine-year-old boy, son of a journalist in Mahbubabad town- 220 km from here- ended in tragedy as the police found him murdered on Thursday. 

The parents had arranged ₹45 lakh to be paid to the abductor for the safe return of the boy. The Mahbubabad district police, which launched 10 special teams to crack the abduction mystery reported four days ago, received a rude jolt as the boy’s burnt body was found just 5 km from his home. 

A person known to the boy’s parents emerged the abductor and killer in the sensational case. Presenting the accused Manda Sagar before the media at Mahbubabad, district SP Koti Reddy said greed to make fast buck drove him to kidnap and kill the boy. The boy’s father Ranjith Reddy is a reporter for Telugu TV channel T News. 

Screengrab of video footage of the boy being taken away by the kidnapper on his bike.

Screengrab of video footage of the boy being taken away by the kidnapper on his bike.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“Sagar, who is in his early 20s alone carried out the kidnap and killing. Possible complicity of others is still being probed,” the SP told The Hindu over phone. Deekshit was playing near his house on Thursday around 6 p.m. when Sagar came there on his bike. “The unsuspecting boy, who knew Sagar, sat on the bike when he offered him a ride,” the SP said. 

Two hours later, the boy’s parents received a call on their mobile phone from a private number demanding ₹45 lakh ransom to set him free. Worried parents rushed to police who swung into action forming dedicated teams with specific tasks to trace boy. 

Normally, police would have tracked the abductors by tracing the phone calls. In this case, they hit a cul-de-sac as the incoming call did not display on parents’ mobile phone except showing ‘private number’. Realising that abductor was using VoIP to make calls, investigators sent emails to 10 companies providing VoIP call services. 

Investigation in this angle provided some clues. Actually, even before police chalked out a plan to rescue the boy, Sagar murdered the boy. “Though the boy knew Sagar, he started asking the latter to take him back home. Unable to control the kid and worried of being identified, Sagar, gave him a sleeping pill,” the SP said. 

When the boy fell unconscious, the accused throttled him to death. Later, Sagar poured petrol on the body and set it ablaze, he said. Even after killing the boy, he started making ransom calls. Police officers from special wings like Hyderabad Task Force, Cyberabad Special Operations Team and Intelligence along with technical experts started working on different leads to trace the boy. 

Meanwhile, police received an input locally pointing the needle of suspicion towards Sagar who admitted to the killing when picked up and interrogated. He led the police to the boy’s decomposed body which was found on a hillock in nearby Thallapoosalapally forest area. 

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 4:20:08 PM |

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