Kochi: As Kerala marked a solemn Onam day, in the wake of devastating floods over the past fortnight, the mood was further sunk by the report of a nine-year-old boy allegedly killed by his paternal uncle.
Police on Saturday arrested the accused, identified as Mohammad, who is believed to have thrown his nephew Mohammad Shaheen into the Kadalundi river during the floods.
Mohammad Shaheen, son of Abdul Saleem and Haseena, is believed to have been thrown into the river from the Anakkayam bridge.
Police believe accused Mohammad had planned to abduct the boy and seek ransom from his parents. Shaheen had been missing from August 13, a few days into the heavy rains in the state and a couple of days before the deluge began.
The boy’s parents reported the matter to the police and local residents were also on the lookout for him, though the rains hampered the search for the schoolboy who was a Class 4 student.
Incidentally, Mohammad had also joined some protests that the local people had organised to press for the arrest of the culprits behind the boy’s disappearance.
Police believe Mohammad had gone around with the boy on a bike, bought him clothes, and got him to change his school uniform, with the intention of holding him up somewhere and ask for ransom.
However, once the news of the search for the boy spread on social media, Mohammad got worried and threw him into the river.
A search was on for Shaheen’s body in the Kadalundi river on Saturday.