A live-in private tutor, who was a drug addict and allegedly wanted to make quick money by seeking ransom, has killed his 10-year-old student after abduction in Gazipur.
The tutor, Parvez Sikder, 18, a diploma degree holder in agriculture, registered the help of his friend and ninth-grader Faisal Ahmed, 19, to commit the crime.
Both were neighbours of the victim, Sadman Iqbal Rakin, 10, the son of Gazipur municipality engineer Syed Shamim Iqbal in Faugan village of Sreepur upazila.
The Rapid Action Battalion-1 (Rab) arrested them in the village on Sunday night. Before that, the team spent 36 hours following different leads to close in on the suspects.
During a press briefing at Rab-1 media centre in Karwan Bazar, officials said the youths were “inspired” by Indian crime anthology series “Crime Patrol” and thought of ransom-seeking abduction as the quickest way to riches. They worked out the plan six months ago.
Lt Col Sarowar Bin Kashem, commanding officer of Rab-1, said the duo lured Rakin to a nearby bamboo grove, only 150 yards away from his house, on December 5. They wanted to keep him there, but the boy tried to escape. In fear, they strangled him right away, he said.
Later the abductors called his father and demanded Tk 10 lakh as ransom, he said. They used the same phone they stole from the victim's family six months ago as part of the plan, he added.
When the family returned their calls, the phone was switched off. Two days later, on December 7, the family filed an abduction case with Sreepur Police Station. The boy's decomposed body was recovered from the bamboo grove on December 11, the officer said.
Among the killers, Parvez had been living in the house of Shamim Iqbal and teaching his son Rakin, a fifth-grader, for the last two years, said Maj Md Rakibuzzaman, who led the operation.
The two had been planning the abduction for more than six months, he said. “They admitted that they took the decision after watching 'Crime Patrol' episodes.”
At the beginning of the 36-hour operation, the Rab team studied the call log and found the phone had a top-up of Tk 20 from a local shop hours before the ransom call was made, said Maj Rakib.
After interrogation, they learned that the phone number was written on a piece of paper when the top-up was made. The investigators collected the paper from a nearby waste bin.
“We then matched the handwriting with Parvez's,” said Maj Rakib. “But we were not sure, so we revisited the murder scene and found an empty packet of cigarette brand “Star”.
In the meantime, they maintained communications with the victim's parents and asked them volleys of questions. At one point, it turned out that Parvez's friend Faisal used to smoke cigarettes of that brand. Moreover, the call was made from the same number the family used to have and the same locality of the victim. The information led them to the duo, said Maj Rakib.
Rab-1 commanding officer Lt Col Kashem said Parvez's father is a mental patient, while Faisal's mother died a few years back; both were addicted and depressed. After watching the TV show, they thought that an easy way to make money is abducting and killing people, he added.
Victim's father Shamim Iqbal, who was present at the press briefing, said he often used to provide support to Parvez's family. “I never thought my child would die at his hands.”
He demanded exemplary punishment so that this kind of incident never repeats.