Two youths, both 22 years old, were arrested Monday night in the kidnapping and murder of the teenaged schoolboy in East Delhi last week, police said.
The youths were neighbours who knew the boy and their prime motive was quick money. Where their plan went tragically wrong was when they realised that once released after the ransom was paid, the boy would reveal the kidnappers’ identity to the police.
Police arrested Pratap Singh Sisodia, who did an acting course in Mumbai and recently opened a call centre in Noida. His friend Siddharth Sharma, a mobile phone mechanic who wanted to open a shop, was the second man arrested.
According to police, on November 18, Pratap and Siddharth had lured Utkarsh, 13, from a bus stop to their flat by telling him that his grandmother had died and his parents were not at home.
Police said Pratap’s father, a builder, had constructed the three-storey house in Gandhinagar’s Rajgarh colony where Utkarsh’s jeweller father Mukesh Kumar and family live. That is how Pratap knew Utkarsh’s family. Pratap lives in a rented flat in Angad Nagar, a few kilometres away.
The kidnappers made two calls demanding Rs 1 crore in ransom but killed the boy within 24 hours of sweeping him off the street. “During questioning, Pratap disclosed that he recently opened a call centre for which he required Rs 20 lakh. He then made a plan with his friend Siddharth, who also wanted to make money for starting a business of car accessories,” Ajay Kumar, DCP of East Delhi, said.
“They first wanted to kidnap Pratap’s cousin Vibhu, 8, whose father is a property dealer. However, they decided to kidnap Uttkarsh since he was an easier target and a larger ransom was expected from his father.” Police said on November 14, Pratap had conducted a dry run of the spot where Utkarsh’s school van dropped him off every day.
Four days later, Pratap stopped the child around 50 metres from the drop-off point and told him that his grandmother had passed away. He asked Utkarsh to accompany him to his flat at Guru Angad Nagar on his scooter.
There, Pratap and Siddharth served Utkarsh a sedative-laced cold drink, police said. The boy soon fell unconscious and the two accused then went out around
7.20 pm to make the first ransom call to Utkarsh’s mother. The police later traced the call to Geeta Colony. They made the second ransom call from somewhere near V3S Mall around 8.40 pm and returned to the flat.
Police said Siddharth got five SIM cards without being asked for identity documents. The cards were activated within minutes and two were used for making the ransom calls.
Pratap then sent Siddharth to Utkarsh’s residence where he found a huge gathering of over 100 people including police personnel, police said.
He called up Pratap and informed him that people were agitated and continued…