Sunday, October 01, 2023

Crime-Justice

UK police to re-open murder case of Indian-origin boy after 42 years

IANS | May 16, 2023 02:11 PM

LONDON: Sussex police are set to re-examine the case of an eight year-old Indian-origin boy who was found dead months after he mysteriously disappeared in 1981 in London, media reports said.

Vishal Mehrotra and his family were on their way home to Putney when he disappeared, having watched Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding parade in central London, the Guardian reported.

Part of the child's remains were found in Rogate, West Sussex, seven months later in February 1982.

No one has been convicted for his murder despite investigators interviewing more than 14, 000 people.

After Vishal's father Vishambar Mehrotra, criticised the Sussex police for failing to reinvestigate the case, police officers met him on May 10 and told him that detectives had been given a "clear directiona to "advance" the case.

They also apologised for failing to spot a potential link between Vishal's murder and a document known to them that had been found in the possession of a convicted paedophile, according to Guardian.

This came after a BBC podcast which revealed fresh details about the case, including a potential link between the murder and the document titled 'Vishal'.

This document was written in 1983 by Nicholas Douglass, convicted of child sexual offences about a boy he was abusing.

Vishal's remains were found buried in a bog at a depth of around two feet on a property where Douglass is known to have abused children.

It has been held by Sussex police since the 1990s but was only connected to Vishal's murder four years ago.

"We acknowledge the ongoing distress to Mehrotra and Vishal's wider family and their need to find answers to what happened to Vishal in 1981. The force is committed to identifying those responsible for Vishal's tragic death and to delivering justice for Vishal and his family, " DS Mark Chapman of Sussex police told the Guardian.

Vishal's father expressed his doubts about how thorough the investigation would be.

"Well, I am very pleased, but I am also sceptical because I am not so sure how much and when they are going to actually investigate, " he said.

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