Ex-Mr Delhi, aides held for teen's murder

Accused knew the victim; a ransom of Rs 15 lakh was paid to the abductor

Four persons, including two-time body building champion Kunal Bhandari alias Rocky, and one Rishab Chauhan, were arrested on Wednesday for killing Ribu Chawla (17), a Class XI student, after kidnapping him on Monday evening.

Ribu was found strangled near a cemetery in Vasant Kunj area on Wednesday morning, almost 16 hours after he was kidnapped from near his K R Mangalam School in Vikaspuri.
Rocky, a former Mr Delhi in 1997 and 1998 and supplier of food supplements, was known to Ribu through a common friend. On Monday evening, he and his associates forced the student into a car, Joint Commissioner (South) Ajay Kashyap said.

Rocky, who lost around Rs 30 lakh in race course betting and gambling, wanted to repay his debt of Rs 18 lakh. A common friend told him that Ribu could be a “soft target” for making quick money. “We are after this common friend,” Kashyap said. Trying to blunt criticism of police inaction in the kidnapping, Kashyap said the probability of the victim being rescued unharmed was “very, very minimal” in the case, as the accused was known to the victim. Asked whether the police had prior knowledge that Ribu’s father had paid Rs 15 lakh as ransom, he said he would not comment on the matter as making some information public would put the “family as well as the investigating agency in poor light”.

Kashyap, however, said the police had recovered Rs 8 lakh out of the Rs 15 lakh from the accused. “Rocky got a share of Rs 6.5 lakh, Rishab Rs 4 lakh, while the other two associates Sukhwinder and Gaurav got Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 2 lakh respectively,” he added. The police have also recovered the car owned by Rishab’s father as well as Ribu’s mobile phone, which the accused used to make ransom calls, besides making Ribu speak to his parents a couple of times.

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