A Class XI student was murdered allegedly by his former schoolmate and two of his associates in south Delhi’s Mehrauli on Saturday. The accused have been arrested.
Naveen Singh (20), Akash Chaudhary alias Ashu (23) and the juvenile accused called the victim’s family for ransom to make it look like a case of kidnapping, the police said. They allegedly murdered 17-year-old Jatin alias Jaideep Goyal for befriending a girl who is friends with Mr. Singh.
The teenager had gone to a nearby temple in the evening. When he failed to return home at night, his family went looking for him.
“They called him but their calls went unanswered. A little later, they received a call from Jatin’s number. The caller claimed that Jatin had been kidnapped and demanded ₹20 lakh for his release,” said Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (south) Chinmoy Biswal.
The victim’s parents approached the police, after which a kidnapping case was registered and investigations taken up. Jatin’s phone was put under surveillance and traced to Chhatarpur. “His scooty was parked at the location,” said the officer.
The police then scanned CCTV footage from near the temple from where his scooty was recovered. The footage showed three persons riding a bike. Their faces were covered.
“The video was shown to Jatin’s friends. His friend Ashok identified the bike and told the police that it was being driven by Mr. Singh and Mr. Chaudhary,” said Mr. Biswal.
Mr. Chaudhary, who was allegedly helping Jatin’s parents find him, was arrested for trying to mislead the police. Based on inputs provided by him, Mr. Singh and the juvenile were also apprehended.
During interrogation, the accused told the police that they decided to murder Jatin for befriending a girl in his school who is also friends with the accused and that the conspiracy was allegedly hatched by Mr. Singh.
“Jatin and the girl talked to each other. She also used to talk to Mr. Singh. She told him that Jatin was showing interest in her. It was then that he decided to kill Jatin, and roped in Mr. Chaudhary and the minor for the murder,” the officer said.
Allegedly inspired by a crime show on television, the accused decided to cover up the murder with a ransom call. The police said the accused stopped Jatin, who was returning from the temple, and offered to take him for evening snacks.
“They took him to Mittal Gardens, an abandoned farm in Chhatarpur, where they strangulated him with a gamcha. They dumped his body in the bushes nearby and made the ransom call,” Mr. Biswal said.
Jatin’s body was recovered and sent for post-mortem. “His wallet, Aadhaar card and scooty, and the gamcha and motorcycle used by the accused have been recovered,” said Mr. Biswal.