Eleven-year-old kidnapped boy found dead

Kathmandu, August 6

Two persons allegedly involved in the kidnapping and murder of 11-year-old Nishan Khadka from Pepsicola, Bhaktapur, were shot dead in a police encounter this afternoon.

The kidnappers have been identified as Gopal Tamang, 22, hailing from Samari of Nuwakot, and Ajay Tamang, 23, of Karthali, Sindhupalchowk.

Nishan, son of Ganesh Bahadur Khadka and Chameli Khadka, who hailed from Jyamire of Sindhupalchowk and was residing at Pepsicola in Kathmandu Metropolitan City Ward No 32, had gone missing at 4:30 pm yesterday.

Chameli, who runs a small eatery on the banks of the Manahara River at Pepsicola, came to know of her son’s kidnapping only after the kidnappers made a phone call to her at 9:00 pm demanding a ransom of Rs 4 million.

The alleged kidnappers, who addressed Chameli as ‘didi’, had been frequenting the eatery for the past three years and even had Rs 35,000 to pay her in dues.

Chameli’s father Min Prasad Sapkota said the Tamang duo had befriended Nishan.

On the day of kidnapping, the alleged kidnappers took the boy out to buy him a mobile phone, said Chameli, who was taken by the police to the Metropolitan Police Circle at Purano Thimi, Bhaktapur, for filing a complaint. She told THT that she had given Nishan Rs 1,000 to buy a phone to connect to his father Ganesh Bahadur who works in Malaysia.

Chameli said Nishan returned home with the mobile phone, kept it on the table, and said he was once again going out with ‘Gopal dai’. Chameli did not stop him, as he seemed gleeful and went away with Gopal on a bicycle.

Ajay Tamang stayed at the eatery and drank two bottles of beer before leaving at around 5:30 pm.

Even when her son did not return till late evening, she did not panic as he was with someone she had known for several years. “But at 9:00 pm, I received a call from Gopal. He claimed that he had kidnapped Nishan and demanded Rs 4 million in ransom,” she told THT.

The first complaint was filed at the Metropolitan Police Sector at Kandaghari after the call. Inspector Hari Ojha said they immediately visited the site and circulated the message to other police stations.

Ojha said around 160 police personnel were deployed for the search operation and claimed they were able to ascertain the tentative location of the kidnappers the same night by tracing their cell phone.

However, the police could not rescue the boy alive.

According to DSP Milan KC from Metropolitan Police Circle, Thimi, the boy was found buried in a pit dug for laying the foundation of an under-construction house belonging to local Shyam Lavat at Nagadesh Tole, Madhyapur Thimi, this afternoon.

“The boy was strangled by a handkerchief and his mouth was gagged,” said DSP KC, adding that they identified the body from the Argentina jersey the boy was wearing.

After recovering the body, the police got a tip-off that the kidnappers had fled towards Pilot Baba Jungle of Bhaktapur. The search team then encountered the kidnappers at Suryavinayak Municipality on the way to Pilot Baba Ashram in the jungle.

“The kidnappers tried to open fire at the search team, but the police shot them dead in self-defence,” Metropolitan Police, Crime Division, stated.

According to police, a pistol and two bullets were recovered from the kidnappers.

Nishan’s body has been sent to the TU Teaching Hospital for an autopsy. Nishan was studying in Grade Six at the local Highland English Secondary School.