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Abducted Indian schoolboy found killed in Nepal

Kathmandu, (IANS) Nepal’s biggest Hindu festival became a nightmare for an Indian family in Kathmandu with the abduction and subsequent murder of their 11-year-old son.

The body of schoolboy Rohit Gupta, whose father Vasudev is a small businessman in Kathmandu, was found Sunday night in the upmarket Kamladi area, according to preliminary reports.

Rohit was abducted on Friday, when Nepal began celebrating its biggest festival Dashain, corresponding to India’s Dussehra, with Ghatasthapana, the worship of the holy pitcher, a symbol for nine Hindu goddesses.

The Guptas, who are from Sitamarhi district in India’s Bihar state, received a call from the kidnappers the next day, asking for a ransom of Nepali Rs.250,000.

However, when family members reached the designated spot with the money, they were told to go to the Thankot area, the main entry point to reach Kathmandu valley from India.

However, even after going there with the money, the boy was not released.

Instead, on Sunday night, the 11-year-old’s body was found in a sack.

The murder comes less than a week after the kidnap and brutal strangling of an eight-year-old boy in Kathmandu valley.

Dhiraj Adhikari, a second grader, was lured away by his neighbours while returning from school. The neighbours had a feud with the boy’s parents over a plot of land.

At least five people, including a pair of brothers who lived in the house next door, were allegedly involved in strangling the boy and throwing his body into a river.

Outraged residents of the area set the suspect Shrestha brothers’ house on fire and blocked the road for several hours, demanding justice.

Kathmandu valley has become notoriously unsafe for children with minors reported missing almost every day.

Indians living in the valley and the Marwari community especially are targeted by kidnappers since they are considered to be affluent and lack the power to organise effective protests, unlike the local residents.

Last year, the five-year-son of a renowned Indian cardiologist was kidnapped from the family residence in Kathmandu in broad daylight by a group of men posing as patients.

In several cases involving the abduction of adults, policemen and army personnel are found to be part of the gangs, creating doubts about the ability of the government to combat the growing incidence of crime.

One of Nepal’s most talked-about cases currently is the abduction of a journalist from Bara district in the Terai region 10 days ago.

Though media organisations have created a storm, demanding the immediate release of Birendra Shah, who was abducted by four Maoist cadres, Shah is yet to be traced.