BHOPAL: Two 5-year-old twin brothers Shreyansh and Priyansh – both UKG student sons of medicated oil businessman –who were kidnapped by masked men on gunpoint from crowded school bus in Chitrakoot town of Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district on February 12, were found murdered in the Yamuna river in Banda district of Central UP 12 days later on Sunday morning.
Six men aged between 20 and 26 years, including five from UP’s Banda and Hamirpur districts and one from MP’s Chitrakoot town have been arrested for the kidnap-double murder. The six men arrested on February 22 and 23 in a joint operation of MP and UP police, included 26-year-old Ramkesh Yadav, a native of UP’s Banda district, who gave private tuitions to the twin brothers at their home located in Karvi (Chitrakoot district of UP), just around 100 meters from MP’s territory.
The other arrested men, include mastermind Padam Shukla an engineering passout native of MP’s Chitrakoot town, Pintu alias Pinta Yadav (the vital link between Padam and Ramkesh), Raju Dwivedi, Bachelor of Engineering (BE) student Lucky Singh Tomar and Rohit Dwivedi. The arrested men tied the hands and legs of the twin brothers before throwing them in Yamuna river in Banda district on February 21 night, as they feared that since the two siblings recognized Ramkesh Yadav (their private tutor), it could have led to their arrest. The twins were thrown into the river over 24 hours after the boys’ businessman father Brijesh Rawat paid Rs 20 lakh as ransom.
One of the arrested men Padam Shukla is allegedly the brother of a youth associated with Bajrang Dal. However, senior leaders of the saffron outfit in MP have denied it. Shukla has shared on his FB page picture with a BJP leader from Rajasthan. The kidnapping-double murder mastermind Shukla, importantly, shared a post on his FB page on February 18, appealing people to help the police in locating the two kidnapped twins.
Also, the two numberless mobikes suspected to have been used in the crime have stickers bearing the word ‘Ram Rajya,’ while a Bolero vehicle (registration number UP96A8477) also seized by the police and suspected to have been used by the arrested men bore a BJP flag, IG (Rewa Zone) Chanchal Shekhar told The New Indian Express over phone.
“It’s very unfortunate incident. I’ve talked to the father of the deceased twins and assured of fulsome justice in the matter. All the accused have been arrested and all possible angles will be probed in detail. The aspects which will be probed, also include the politics behind it, particularly as the vehicle in which those arrested were moving is fitted with flag of which party is known to all. The opposition is afraid in the matter, as some of their own people could be linked to what has happened,” said Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath in Bhopal.
MP DGP VK Singh told journalists in Bhopal that all the firearms and vehicles suspected to have been used in the crime have been seized and the case will be tried before a fast track court. “The prosecution will try and get death sentence for the accused in the case,” the DGP added.
Also, prohibitory orders have been imposed in Chitrakoot town of MP and extra police force deployed there in the wake of violent protests by commoners against the killing of the twins. Some buses have been ransacked and commercial establishments also targeted by angry residents.
Meanwhile, the opposition BJP demanded that home minister Bala Bachchan’s quit over police failure to rescue the kids alive. However, MP law minister PC Sharma, while defending the home minister, put the onus of the matter on UP government and police. “Major part of the police operation was carried out by UP police in UP and both bodies have been retrieved from river in UP, so if anyone needs to resign it’s the UP CM and not the MP home minister,” said Sharma.
Other senior BJP leaders, including former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Leader of Opposition in State Assembly Gopal Bhargava, said that the Kamal Nath government has failed to maintain law and order in the state. “Only two industries are thriving in the state now, one being the abduction industry and the other one being the transfer-posting industry,” said Bhargava.
In Rewa district, which neighbours Satna district, ex-CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed shock over the twin brothers killing and accused the Congress government of converting MP from island of peace to a continent of crime.
Another state BJP spokesperson in Bhopal, Rajnish Agrawal said the BJP will hold statewide protests on Monday over the killing of two children. However, when questioned about the kidnapping-murder mastermind Padam Shukla being a Bajrang Dal activist’s brother and the seized Bolero bearing BJP flag, Agrawal said “no where during the press conference in Satna district, has the IG-Rewa Zone said any Bajrang Dal leader is involved in the crime. Also, the seized vehicle bearing flag doesn’t mean that BJP or any allied outfit is involved in the heinous crime. Crimes have been committed in the past by criminals attired in police and army fatigues and travelling in vehicles bearing beacons and police/army flags, does that mean that police/army were involved in those crimes.”
The two siblings were kidnapped at gunpoint from the crowded school bus by motorbike borne two masked men just outside the Sadguru Public Higher Secondary School campus on February 12 in Chitrakoot town of MP, while the school bus had just left the school.
A reward of Rs 50,000 was declared by the MP DGP VK Singh on February 13 for getting clinching info in the case. On February 21, a local resident in Banda district of UP (whose cell-phone was used by the captors to make the ransom call) shared the pictures of one of the mobikes used in the crime, ultimately helping the cops of UP and MP to nab the six accused on February 22 and 23.
Sources privy to police investigations in MP and UP confided that even after being arrested by cops, the kidnappers told the police that the kids were alive. “They took the cops to Allahabad district and Banda district, but it was the questioning of Bachelor of Engineering (BE) student Vicky Tomar which led to the disclosure that the twins had been thrown into the river on February 21. After this teams of UP and MP police retrieved both the bodies tied to stones from Yamuna river in Banda district early on Sunday,” a key source said.
The ransom money paid by the kidnapped-murdered kids’ father too has been recovered by the police.