The Delhi police crime branch arrested the second suspect from Pune in Maharashtra in the over-a-decade-old case of alleged kidnapping and murder of a 17-year-old boy, officials said on Wednesday.
A Class 12 boy student was allegedly beaten to death by the driver, conductor, and cleaner of the now-scrapped Blueline bus service at South Delhi’s Kalkaji in 2010.
The arrested suspect, Gurnam Singh alias Rangeela, 54, was the cleaner of the Blueline bus on route number 425, inside which he along with its driver, Bharat Lal, and conductor, Mohammad Danish, assaulted the schoolboy to death following an altercation that started after the student refused to buy a ticket, police said.
Singh was presently working as a labourer in a stone crushing unit in a remote area in Pune, crime branch officials aware of the operation said.
Also Read: Delhi blueline murder: Bus driver who killed schoolboy in 2010 arrested
“To evade arrest, the suspect had changed his physical appearance by growing a beard and wearing a turban,” an official said.
Last week, a crime branch team led by sub-inspector Pankaj Baliyan made the first breakthrough after arresting the bus driver, Bharat Lal, 51, from Sheohar district in Bihar, where he was living under an assumed name with new identification documents. To evade arrest, Lal worked as a private driver and went by the name Bharat Raut, said police.
The case was registered at Kalkaji police station in November 2010 by the mother of the deceased boy and was being investigated by the district investigation unit (DIU) of the southeast district since 2014.
Police said that after the teenager died in the bus, the accused persons took his body to the Nizamuddin area in the bus and put it along the railway tracks, in a bid to pass it off as a train accident.
The boy’s body, with multiple injury marks, was found on the tracks near Nizamuddin railway station the same evening. Meanwhile, his mother had filed a missing complaint with the Kalkaji police. Later, after the body was found, the mother identified the deceased as her son, said special commissioner of police (crime) Ravindra Singh Yadav.
After the incident, all three fled Delhi and were untraceable, police said. It was later learnt that the conductor died in 2011. The case became dead and the two suspects–the driver and cleaner–were declared proclaimed offenders (POs) by a city court. The Delhi police announced a reward of ₹50,000 each for their arrest.
Also Read: Man arrested for sexually assaulting three minor sisters in Byculla
However, after the crime branch team started afresh, they traced Lal’s location in Sheohar, and in a breakthrough, arrested him last week. The police team continued working on the whereabouts of Gurnam Singh, said the special commissioner Yadav.
It was learnt that after the crime, Singh fled to Punjab and from there to Assam after a few months and later Maharashtra.
“Our team went to Assam and learnt that Singh spent a few years living in various gurdwaras and working as a sewadar. He grew beard and started wearing a turban to change his physical appearance. Later, he went to Pune, where he was presently working as a labourer in a stone-crushing factory. He was living the life of a homeless man and was not in contact with anybody in his family,” said a police officer, who did not wish to be named.
HT was unable to contact the deceased boy’s mother for a reaction on Wednesday.