Bengaluru: A 14-year-old high school student was kidnapped and murdered by his neighbour, who wanted to take revenge on the teenager’s mother. The boy, a resident of Sanjivininagar, was killed in an isolated place on Bangalore University campus last week.
The body of Kiran Kumar, a Class 8 student of Chaitanya Techno School in Chandra Layout, was recovered on Tuesday night. The crime came to light after Kiran’s parents provided CCTV camera footage to the police, suspecting the role of their neighbour Manjunath, with whom the boy was seen riding pillion on a motorcycle hours before he went missing. A detailed questioning by the police, led Manjunath (22), a welder in private firm, to confess to the crime.
According to the police, Manjunath frequently fought with Kiran’s mother, Pramila. Pramila had even complained to Manjunath’s mother about his behaviour, which enraged him further. According to the police, Manjunath, who had decided to take revenge, waylaid Kiran on February 4 when he was waking towards his home after alighting from the school van. Manjunath told Kiran that his younger brother was hurt and his parents had gone to hospital, and offered to take him there, the police said.
Manjunath then took Kiran on his motorcycle to a secluded place in Bangalore University’s Jnana Bharathi campus, slashed his throat with a blade and dumped the body in a drain. The police said Manjunath then returned home and washed his bike.
Anxious over Kiran not returning home, his parents, Ravi Kumar, a civil contractor, and Pramila, searched for him in the locality and even checked with the van driver, who told them that he had dropped the boy near the house.
“During the interrogation it was learnt that Manjunath and Pramila had fought recently. He had even tried to manhandle her. Pramila had complained to Manjunath’s mother about his behaviour. Manjunath felt humiliated after his mother reprimanded him,” said a police officer.
The police said that Manjunath had tried to perform black magic on Kiran’s family and had dumped a few lemons and vermillion in front of their house to scare them. Later he hatched a plan to kill Kiran, the police said.
Police did not respond?
Even though Kiran Kumar’s parents lodged a missing complaint with the Chandra Layout police and even said they suspected Manjunath’s role as he was found behaving indifferently, the police did not take up case seriously, they have alleged. The police suspected that Kiran could have ran away from home. They did not even question Manjunath since there was no evidence against him, the parents have alleged.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Alok Kumar said he would ascertain whether or not there was any lapse on part of the police and take action.
Parents turned investigators
It was a week of anxious wait for the family of 14-year-old Kiran Kumar.
When the police did not respond to their missing complaint, Kiran’s parents, Ravi Kumar and Pramila, started looking for him on their own.
After the school van driver told them that Kiran had alighted at the designated stop, they started looking for clues to know where their son could have gone. “We enquired about my son with the local shopkeepers, neighbours, friends and family members who may have known his whereabouts. We then started seeing CCTV camera footages from the shops,” Ravi Kumar told presspersons.
The parents then stumbled upon the all-important clue from the CCTV camera footage of a jewellery shop at Nagarbhavi Circle. “The footage showed Kiran riding pillion on Manjunath’s bike and we could identify them clearly,” he said.
They handed over the footage to the police, who summoned Manjunath for questioning. After he confessed to the crime, Manjunath took the police to the crime scene from where the police recovered the partially decomposed body.
“The school uniform was still on the body and the schoolbag was found near the spot. Manjunath had slit the boy’s throat with a blade. The stench from the decomposing body was not strong enough for passersby to sense as there is a big drain near the spot,” a senior police officer said.