New Delhi: Police on Tuesday arrested culprits of a kidnap-cum-murder case of a 13-year-old boy of a city jeweller, whom the kidnappers murdered and had dumped his body in a drain in East Delhi on November 18, an official said.
The main accused, identified as Pratap Singh Sisodiya (22), a family friend of the victim's father, and his accomplice Siddharth Sharma (24) were arrested from east Delhi's Geeta Colony and Gandhi Nagar area, respectively, he said.
The victim, Utkarsh Verma, was kidnapped in the afternoon when he was dropped by his school's cab near his residence on November 18 and his body was found inside a drain the next morning.
According to police, Sisodiya wanted to be an actor and had even gone to Mumbai last year where he did an acting course. He was good at changing voices, a trick he used while making calls to the deceased's parents.
"It was Pratap's father who had built the house of Mukesh Verma, the father of Utkarsh Verma, the victim. The boy was friendly with the accused as he used to frequent his house and they used this thing to their advantage," said Joint Commissioner of Police (Eastern Range) Sanjay Beniwal.
Police had been suspecting an insider's role in the case since beginning and several people including the former and current employees of his father were interrogated.
Investigators narrowed down on Pratap Singh Sisodiya whose mobile location was found to be close to the spots from where ransom calls were made, police said.
During interrogation, Pratap revealed that he had recently opened a call centre in partnership and needed Rs 20 lakh to buy the share from his partner so that he can become the sole owner.
So he hatched a conspiracy with his friend Siddharth, who also wanted to make quick money for establishing his own business of car accessories.
They had planned the kidnapping around 15 days ago. The duo initially wanted to kidnap Pratap's nephew but later planned to kidnap Uttkarsh since he was an easy target for them and bigger ransom was expected from his jeweler father, police said.
"For the entire operation, they had procured five SIM cards from Krishna Nagar and Chinese mobile phones from Shanti Mahal. They carefully observed Utkarsh's movement before the commission of crime. On the fateful day, Pratap picked him from near his drop point telling him that someone had died in his family and his parents were not home," police said.
"Pratap then took him to his flat on Siddharth's scooty in East Angad Nagar barely few metres away from the place where his body was dumped. They first gave him a banana shake. However, in the evening when the boy started to cry, they gave him drinks laced with sedatives and strangled him. They then dumped the body in the drain," said Beniwal.
Two ransom calls were received first at 7:22 pm on the Utkarsh's mother phone and another at 8:43 pm on the father Mukesh Verma's phone. The accused demanded a ransom of a crore from them and asked them not to inform the police.
Technical analysis revealed that the first call was made from near Geeta Colony Pushta and second in the vicinity of an east Delhi Mall area and local intelligence revealed that Pratap was seen in this area. This revelation put investigators on the right track and finally they solved the case, police said.