Kidnapped IT officer's son found dead, 4 arrested
Bengaluru: The son of an Income Tax officer was found dead near a lake on the city outskirts on Friday, 10 days after he was kidnapped, police said, adding four people including a friend of the victim have been arrested.
Police said the decomposed body of 19-year-old Sharath Kumar, an automobile engineering student, was found buried near the Narasimhayyana lake in the southern part of Bengaluru.
Sharath was first strangulated and killed and his body dumped into the lake, police said.
As the body was found floating two days later, it was again thrown back into the lake by tying it with stones, police said, adding that subsequently, it was taken out and buried to "destroy" evidence.
Police gave the names of the arrested as Vishal, who lived nearby Sharath's house and was acquainted with the victim's family, and Vinay Prasad, Vinod Kumar and Kiran Pai.
"One more accused (Shanthakumar) is absconding and we are trying to nab him," Bengaluru Police Commissioner Suneel Kumar told reporters here.
Police said they believe the abductors killed the teenager because they feared being caught.
Vishal was known to the victim's family and he was with them even after the FIR about the abduction was filed, Kumar said.
But, "by the time FIR was lodged Sharath was killed..," he said.
Kumar said, "we could lay our hands on them (accused) based on team analysis and field intelligence," besides tracking mobile calls.
Vishal and his accomplices had hatched a plot on September 10 to kidnap Sharath and demand a ransom of Rs 50 lakh to make "quick money and settle in life," police said.
Knowing Sharath's fad for new, expensive and foreign bikes, Vishal had told him about his friend having a Benelli bike and he would be driving it on the evening of September 12.
Apparently lured by this, Sharath expressed his desire to join them and went in his recently bought bike to Kengeri satellite town to meet Vishal and his friends. The teenager was studying automobile engineering at Acharya Institute of Engineering in Bengaluru.
As planned, Vishal and others kidnapped Sarath in a car as he reached the meeting point, police said.
Later, fearing that Sharath's parents might approach police and they would get caught, on September 12 between 11.30 pm and midnight, Vishal and others killed Sharath by strangulating him and threw his body into Narasimhayyana lake before burying it some days later, police said.
Sharath, the son of I-T officer Niranjan Kumar, had left home at Ullala in his bike on September 12, telling his parents that he will back soon.
However, he did not return home till late in the night. His parents tried calling him but to no avail.
Niranjan Kumar had registered a complaint with the Jnanabharathi police station about his son not returning home.
The same day, he and his wife and daughter received a message on WhatsApp telling his parents to arrange Rs 50 lakh to pay his abductors as ransom.
In the video message, Sharath had said that he was kidnapped by some people looking like "terrorists" and they were demanding Rs 50 lakh as ransom.