Friends murder teenager for Rs 50,000

Pune: A 16-year-old boy was abducted and murdered allegedly by three of his friends, including two minors, who had demanded a ransom of Rs 50,000 after being inspired by a crime-based TV serial. Shubham Shirke was kidnapped yesterday from Dighi area and was taken to a nearby hill where he was strangled to death. The accused then made a call to his father Mahadev Shirke demanding Rs 50,000 which was later brought down to Rs 15,000, police said today.

"Shubham`s father paid the money to the abductors at around 10:30 PM, but his son was not released by them following which he approached Vishrantwadi police," said Police Inspector (crime) Pandurang Gofane. Acting on the complaint, police arrested the three, including a classmate of Shubham, who confessed to the murder, he said, adding the accused have been booked under sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 383 (extortion), 302 (punishment for murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Police have withheld the identity of the accused.

"Shubham was a student of Priyadarshini English Medium School in Bhosari area and had appeared for his class 10 examination this year. Out of the arrested accused, two are minors and one has given 12th standard examination this year. One out of the three friends is a classmate of Shubham," DCP (Zone four) Sanjay Jadhav said. He said the three accused would keenly follow television serial `CID` based on real crime incidents.

"They decided to abduct son of a jeweller first. However, they could not succeed in their plan," he said, adding they then hatched aplan to kidnap Shubham and extort money from his father. "They called up Shubham, took him to a nearby hill in Vishrantwadi area and strangled him to death. After that they demanded Rs 50,000 from his father," the DCP said. The accused then collected Rs 15,000 from Shubham`s father, he said. Police said the accused wanted to splurge the ransom money, Jadhav said.