Three neighbours guilty of child's murder in Shimla

Shimla : A local court on Monday convicted three neighbours in the sensational kidnapping-cum-murder of a child, Yug Gupta, in the state capital four years ago.

Yug's skeletal remains were recovered from a municipal water supply tank in August 2016, two years after he was reported missing. The child had been tortured, starved and forced to consume liquor before he was thrown into the tank.

District and Sessions Judge Virender Singh held Chander Sharma, Tajender Singh and Vikrant guilty of murder.

In the next hearing on August 13, the quantum of sentence is likely be pronounced. The court after hearing arguments on July 26 reserved the judgment.

Victim's father Vinod Gupta said he has full faith in the judiciary and his son would get justice. He has demanded death penalty for the accused.

The police had charged three youths, who were the victim's neighbours, with murder for ransom. They had been in police custody since their arrest in August 2016.

A charge-sheet filed by the state police's Crime Investigation Department (CID) on October 25 last year said the child had been missing from his residence since June 14, 2014.

The accused kept on demanding the ransom even after killing the child, said the CID. On June 27, 2016, the family received a ransom letter demanding Rs 3.6 crore. This was followed by three more ransom letters.

An angry crowd had thrashed the two accused, Chander Sharma and Tajinder Singh, in August last year at the district court complex when they were taken there for a court hearing.

In the charge-sheet, there were 114 witnesses in the case and the CID recorded the statements of over 100 of them.

The state capital saw demonstrations and candle light marches after the crime.