Gangtok, Nov. 5: An argument between two women over a sari has allegedly claimed a seven-year-old boy. The bludgeoned body of Arpit Sharma was recovered from a Sikkim jungle today.
Arpit had gone missing from Rangpo Junior High School on Monday. He used to live with his grandparents in Rangpo’s Lower Bazar, while his parents were in Bihar. Police said the family was engaged in the carpentry and masonry.
Investigations revealed that the school authorities had told Arpit’s grandparents that a woman posing as his mother had taken away the boy from the institution to the Singtam hospital around 10.30am on Monday on the pretext of visiting a doctor.
The next day the boy’s guardians filed a missing person’s diary.
Asked whether the family suspected anyone, Arpit’s aunt told the police an incident involving a neighbour, Bina Devi Sharma, 24, whom the boy had seen stealing a sari from their home.
“The boy’s aunt embroiders saris and one such item strung out in the balcony of the house was stolen during Diwali. Arpit had seen Bina Devi wearing the sari a few days later. This led to an argument between the boy’s aunt and the accused woman,” an officer of the Rangpo police station said.
The investigations zeroed in on Bina Devi as a prime suspect and she was interrogated today by the Rangpo police. “Even though she did not admit the crime initially, she gave us some clues that led us to search the Sawney jungle (near Singtam, about 35km from here) and we found the bludgeoned body,” the officer said. “The woman later confessed the crime saying that she had kidnapped and killed the boy to take revenge.”
The police also recovered the school shirt and the bag of the boy near a stream. The body was handed over to the boy’s guardians after a post-mortem.