Fear of abductions haunts Bihar again

May 31st, 2009 - 7:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, May 31 (IANS) With a rise in incidents of kidnappings and the recovery Saturday of the bodies of two kidnapped students, including an eight-year-old, the fear of abductions has come to haunt Bihar again.
The families of those whose kin have been abducted are fearing for their lives. A doctor couple in Muzaffarpur district is praying for the safe return of their nine-year-old son, kidnapped Wednesday, while the family of a kidnapped businessman in Patna have been told that he was killed by the abductors but his body is yet to be recovered.

The decomposed body of eight-year-old Satyam Kumar, kidnapped a few days back, was recovered from a private lodge at Ashok Nagar in Kankarbagh colony early Saturday, police said. This triggered angry protests from people, who blamed the local police for delaying action to rescue him.

Two teenagers, including a shopkeeper, have been arrested and they confessed that they killed Satyam, police said. Satyam’s father Rajesh Kumar, a businessman, received a call on his cellphone late Thursday night from the abductors, asking for Rs.5 million ransom.

In a separate incident, the mutilated body of 18-year-old Jitendra Kumar, a college student, was recovered in Bettiah Saturday. A ransom of Rs.15 lakh (Rs.1,500,000) had been demanded for him. Bettiah Superintendent of Police K.S. Anupam said the gang involved in the case had been identified and nine people have been arrested.

The fresh abduction spree is giving sleepless nights to hundreds of parents, teachers and school authorities here as several abducted schoolboys have been killed in the last three years.

“The news of the killing of Satyam and other abducted people in the last few days has created panic. We are again feeling unsafe,” Kanchan Singh, the mother of a 16-year-old school student, said here.

A father, who did not wish to be identified, said that he will not allow his son and daughter to play outside the house. “We have to take precautions in view of the spate of kidnappings,” he said.

“We are worried,” Rashmi Sinha, a mother of a 10-year-old school student, said.

“The kidnappings make us worry about the risk involved in sending our children to school,” said Kamdeo Singh, another worried father.

Among the other cases, businessman Satyendra Kumar Singh, 50, who is associated with the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U), was kidnapped from Patna last week. His wife Laxmi Devi has accused former MP and JD-U leader Vijay Krishna and his son of involvement in the kidnapping, and charged the police with inaction against the two.

Rithik, nine, son of a Motipur-based private medical practitioner Sudhir Kumar, was kidnapped from near his house May 26. However, the police have failed to make any breakthrough in the case, though it had arrested the doctor’s assistant.

“The police have failed to trace him. There is no information about him,” his distraught father said.

The Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) state unit Saturday threatened to paralyse medical services in Bihar if Rithik is not recovered soon. The association also protested against the “police failure” in recovering abducted Rithik.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar claimed recently that kidnappings had come down drastically during his rule. However, such cases are still reported regularly all over the state.

Meanwhile, 14-year-old Akash Pandey, kidnapped on way to school in Patna Aug 10, 2007, and six-year-old Ankit, kidnapped from outside his school April 12, 2007, still remain untraced.

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