A pair of six-year-old twins who were kidnapped in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district on February 12 were found dead in a river in the neighbouring Banda district of Uttar Pradesh late on Saturday, police said. Six people have been arrested in connection with the incident, PTI reported.

Protests broke out in Chitrakoot town of Satna after the discovery of the bodies. Mobs ransacked a shopping complex close to the place where the boys were kidnapped, and set some shops and tyres on fire. The police resorted to tear gas shelling to disperse the crowd. Additional police force was deployed in Chitrakoot, local police official KP Tripathi told PTI.

The boys’ bodies were sent for an autopsy after they were found floating in the Yamuna river near Baberu village, Tripathi said. They were sons of an oil merchant in Uttar Pradesh’s Chitrakoot district, and studied at a school in Chitrakoot town of Satna district across the border.

Two men wearing saffron masks had barged into the boys’ school bus on February 12, and kidnapped them. The Madhya Pradesh Police had announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for any information on the kidnappers. The Uttar Pradesh Police had also joined the search operation.

Unidentified police officials told the Hindustan Times that the family paid the kidnappers a ransom of Rs 20 lakh on February 19. The abductors raised their demand to Rs 1 crore, and killed the boys on February 21.

One of the accused is Vishnukanth alias Chotu, a local leader of the Bajrang Dal, police official Chanchal Sekhar said, according to ANI. Another is an engineering student.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister blames BJP

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath claimed that workers of the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party were involved in the abduction and alleged murder. “I spoke to the victims’ father,” he told reporters according to ANI. “The politics behind it will also be uncovered. Whose flag was there on the vehicle in which they were travelling, police is exposing all that.”