Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Malegaon: Man suspected by family arrested for killing boy 10 days after abduction; protest erupts against police negligence

Abdur Rahman/X

A 31-year-old man, Lakshman has been sent to Nashik Central Jail for abducting and murdering a 5-year-old boy in Malegaon’s Naya Islampura on January 29th. Police said that the man, identified as Lakshman, was a neighbour of the boy. 

The case has caused a huge outrage in the region, especially for police inaction. The 5-year-old had been missing from his home in Naya Islampura in Malegaon since January 7th.

On January 8th, his father, Mohammad Ilyas, a power loom worker, filed a missing complaint at Ayesha Nagar Police station. In the complaint, he stated that on January 7th, one of his daughters informed him that Kaif hadn’t returned home as he was playing outside and could not be found anywhere.

The police registered a missing First Information report under section 363 (Kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code.

On January 16th, a dead body was spotted by some people grazing cattle in a forest on hills along Rahud Ghat and they informed Chandwad police station, 40 km away from Malegaon.

As the posters of the missing boy were surfacing in the areas and around Malegaon, Chandwad Police contacted Ayesha Nagar Police, and police along with Ilyas reached Chandwad to identify the body. The deceased body was identified, loathed in blood, his throat slit, and his body with multiple marks and burns of cigarettes.

Between 7 and 16th January, Ilyas was told by his eldest daughter that she had last seen his younger brother with ‘Lakshman Mama’. Acting on her accusation, Ilyas asked Lakshman multiple times but he didn’t say anything.

Lakshman accompanied the family during the search in the area, according to Ilyas.

“Lakshman is popular among kids and they call him ‘mama’ as he gives them chocolates and toys”, said Ilyas. On the suspicion of her daughter, Ilyas also requested Ayesha Nagar police to search Lakshman’s house “but they didn’t pay attention”, he accused.

So he and the elders of his family tried to check his house, but Lakshman refused to let them enter it.

Mohammad Ilyas told Maktoob, “On January 15th, Lakshman came to me and mentioned that he wanted to help me find my son and asked me to accompany him to the Chandwad area. Since I was relying on the Police, I didn’t go.”

“Now that my son’s body is found there only, I wonder why he wanted to take me there. I suspect he wanted to kill me along with my son”, said Ilyas.

The post-mortem report revealed that the boy died 24 hours before his dead body was found on the hills. The report also suggests that he was hit on his head and his throat was slit with what can be called an “edgy weapon”.

Ilyas suspects that when he went to search Lakshman’s house with his relatives, the boy was there, and “If the police would have shown in time strictness and keenly followed the case, Kaif’s life could have been saved.”

Police Inspector at Ayesha Nagar police Station told Maktoob, “Lakhshman, the accused has confessed to the crime when he was arrested the next day Kaif’s body was found.”

“The motive behind the kidnapping and murder is still under investigation”, said PI Prashant Aherey.

When asked about the family’s accusation by the police, the officer said, “This is a matter of investigation and the information I have given to you is sufficient.”

He also informed Maktoob that after his arrest on January 16th, Lakshman was produced before the Malegaon court, which remanded him in seven seven-day police custody. On Monday Malegaon court sent him to Nashik jail and refused further custody to police stating, “You got sufficient time, but there is no progress in the case.”

The family of the deceased demands a probe of the case be transferred to the fast track, a fair investigation and the death penalty for the accused. A huge social media campaign is launched seeking justice for the boy and his family.

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