Mumbai: Cops pose as hawkers to rescue kidnapped six-year-old

Unemployed man who had kidnapped the boy asked for Rs 2 lakh, but cops from Ghatkopar police station nabbed him, dressed as hawkers, auto rickshaw drivers and balloon sellers

An unemployed man’s bid to score some money by kidnapping a six-year-old was foiled by proactive policemen from the Ghatkopar police station. The policemen have arrested a 32-year-old BSc graduate for kidnapping a six-year-old boy and demanding ransom of Rs 2 lakh from his parents.

Also read: Cop, phone booth owner rescue child within an hour of his abduction

Illustration: Uday Mohite
Illustration: Uday Mohite

The incident took place on Tuesday at around 6 pm when the boy was on his way back home from school. He abducted the boy and called his father, who is an autorickshaw driver, and demanded a ransom of R2 lakh.
The child’s father informed the police, who in turn devised a plan and arrested the accused by 10 pm from Vidyavihar station.

The accused has been identified as Umesh Bhagwat, a resident of Saki Naka. Senior police inspector Venkat Patil from Ghatkopar police station said, “Bhagwat noticed that the boy was fighting with one of his classmates and he went to solve the problem. While doing so, he thought that he could kidnap the boy and get some money from his parents.”

Also read: Railway cops in Gujarat save child from being sold

Following this, the accused called the father of the child a couple of times from a PCO at Vidyavihar station. The child’s father had not answered the calls earlier. So, he dialled the PCO’s number and spoke to the accused who was waiting by the phone.

“Bhagwat then inquired about his son, who was missing from the spot and then threatened the father to get Rs 2 lakh in cash, otherwise he would kill his son. The rickshaw driver then ran to the police station to lodge a complaint. At around 9.20pm, the father got another call. Bhagwat asked him to come near Vidyavihar station with the money,” added Patil.

Caught red-handed
However, after the information was passed on, the cops donned a different get-up to catch the accused red-handed. The officers changed from their khaki clothes into outfits worn by rickshaw drivers, hawkers and balloon sellers in order to hide their identity.

“We had the child’s photograph, so we had a clue about how the boy looks. He was also wearing his school uniform. So, as soon as the accused arrived with the boy, we caught hold of him from the spot and took him to the police station,” said Patil.

During the course of the investigations, the cops learnt that Bhagwat was unemployed and couldn’t finance his daily household needs. So in order to get some money, he kidnapped the boy. Bhagwat has been booked under relevant sections of kidnapping and extortion and has been remanded in police custody.

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