The minors kidnapped Jumera around 8.30 pm on December 5 and killed her the same day, but made the ransom demand of Rs 1 crore.
Mumbai: The Mumbai police has arrested two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, for allegedly kidnapping and murdering a three-and-a-half-year-old girl, Jumera Khan, in Nagpada. One of the accused is the neighbour of the victim’s family and had plotted the kidnapping under the assumption that Jumera’s scrap-dealer father was rich and could cough up the ransom. The minors kidnapped Jumera around 8.30 pm on December 5 and killed her the same day, but made the ransom demand of Rs 1 crore on December 19, only after realising her body was undetected. From the day Jumera went missing to Saturday night when the police arrested them, the duo had attempted to help the police scour the area for the victim in a bid to keep a tab on their probe.
The accused, while participating in the search in the area carried out by the family and the police, had volunteered to get an announcement on her missing status made at the local mosque. However, Jumera’s decomposing body was found packed inside a Rexine bag metres away from her house, behind a terrace water tank.
According to the police, Jumera went missing when she was playing in the corridor adjoining her house. “The 16-year-old accused was familiar with the family and saw some of their relatives arrive in a car and assumed the victim’s father was rich and hence planned the kidnapping. On the night of December 5, Jumera, while playing, entered the accused’s house. He knocked her out using chloroform,” a police source said.
Both the accused allegedly stuffed the girl in a Rexine bag. “After an hour, when the girl’s mother started looking for her, the boys noticed that the victim was bleeding from her nose and strangled her with a mobile charger out of panic,” he added. The accused then hid the bag on the terrace of the adjoining building.
Jumera’s parents approached the JJ Marg police station and registered a missing persons’ report. Her father, Mumtaz Ahmed, revealed that the 16-year-old accused, who was the mastermind, helped the family look for the victim. The police said the father started getting ransom calls on December 19. The accused initially demanded Rs 1 crore but later agreed to accept Rs 28 lakh.
Mumtaz added: “They asked me to meet them at Kalwa station on December 23. They called me 40 times that day, passed various instructions, eventually asking me to throw the bag of money in a tunnel,” he said. The accused fled when he refused to hand over the money till he saw his daughter or heard her voice.