A seven-year-old girl was kidnapped from her school on Wednesday and murdered by her maternal uncle and his wife in a bid to extort Rs. 10 lakh from her father in Ashok Nagar.
Police picked up Salman (28) and his wife Shabrin (20), residents of Thimmaiah Road in Bharathi Nagar, within 10 hours of the crime. According to the police, Salman, a fish breeder, had incurred a huge loss. He decided to extort money from his brother-in-law Syed Nisar, a civil engineer, to overcome his financial woes. Around 3.30 p.m. on Wednesday, Salman sent Shabrin to Dhanraj Phool Chand High School in Domlur where Nisar’s youngest daughter Rathiba was enrolled. She told the teacher that she had come to take Rathiba, as the child’s grandmother had suffered a heart attack.
Shabrin took the child to her own house where Salman was waiting. Salman then sent a message to Rathiba’s mother, Shamina, demanding Rs. 10 lakh as ransom, failing which the child would be killed. Shamina and Nisar went to school looking for their daughter. “All they learnt was that Rathiba had left with a burkha-clad woman,” a police officer said.
Around 5.45 p.m., they lodged a complaint at Ashok Nagar police station. A senior police officer said a special team was formed, which started tracking the mobile number from which the ransom message was sent.
“Salman accompanied Nisar to the police station, but we found his movements suspicious. After analysing his mobile phone records, his involvement was confirmed,” the officer said.
During questioning, he confessed to the crime. “He revealed that he and his wife planned the kidnapping. However, before accompanying Nisar to the police station, they strangled the child as they feared she would recognise them,” sources in the police said.
The body was recovered from Salman’s house.
According to the police, as Salman and Shabrin did not have children, Nisar and Shamima had decided to allow them to adopt Rathiba. The police said that Rathiba’s eldest sister worked as a teacher in the same school, but was not aware about the child being taken away by Shabrin.