Delhi boy strangled before being set ablaze: police

March 16th, 2008 - 12:00 am ICT by admin  

(Lead)

New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) A 10-year-old boy whose burnt body was discovered Thursday was strangled to death, the police said Saturday quoting the autopsy report, but the investigators remained clueless about the identity of the assailants. “The autopsy report suggests the assailants first strangled and then set his body on fire,” a senior investigating police officer told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Sanjeev was killed Thursday evening after he asked for compensation from members of a wedding party who were travelling in a car that hit his bicycle in Sungurpur village on the Delhi-Haryana border.

“We are still clueless. Neither the victim’s bicycle and his belongings nor the white Qualis car has been recovered yet,” the official said.

“We have recovered a bottle of alcohol from the scene of crime and we are examining it. We are hoping to retrieve fingerprints from the bottle, as it could possibly yield some vital clues,” he added.

Video footage obtained from the groom’s party in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, also disappointed the crime investigating teams. “We have found no clue after examining the marriage video footage.”

Police said nobody was detained Saturday and no eyewitness had approached them yet.

According to villagers, when Sanjeev demanded that they pay for his damaged bicycle, the enraged men in the car first thrashed him and then dragged him 150-200 metres to a field.

The men, who were reportedly drunk, tied his legs and hands and then dumped him on a heap of cow-dung patties and set him ablaze.

The villagers spotted the flames and rushed to douse the fire. They found the boy charred from head to toe.

The police Saturday did not rule out the possibility that the boy might have been sodomised before being set ablaze.

Investigating officials also hinted at the role of an insider behind the incident.

Following the discovery of the boy’s body, hundreds of villagers had stormed the wedding venue and tried to vandalise it though most guests had left. The mob of over 200 men damaged windowpanes of some cars parked nearby.

The angry villagers then staged a demonstration outside the Alipur police station, blaming the police for letting the attackers escape.

They shouted slogans against the police and blocked the Delhi-Chandigarh highway for three hours.

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