Mumbai crime: Kidnapped 6-year-old safely home in 24 hours, 4 held

The child was abducted from outside his house in Malwani by a labourer working for his father a construction contractor

Crime Branch officers yesterday rescued a 6-year-old boy who was kidnapped from Malwani on Monday evening. Within 24 hours, the officers managed to arrest the four kidnappers who allegedly asked for a ransom of Rs 50 lakh from the boy’s family and threatened to kill him if his kin failed to cough up the sum.

Ishrat Sheikh in the arms of his mother, Rizwana
Ishrat Sheikh in the arms of his mother, Rizwana

The child, Ishrat Ishtiyaq Sheikh, is a resident of Malwani in Malad (W). The main kidnapper, identified as Raheman Sheikh, worked at Ishrat’s father Ishtiyaq’s office as a labourer. According to a Crime Branch officer, “On Monday evening, Ishrat was playing outside his home when the accused, Raheman, lured him with a chocolate and took him along on his cycle.”

The police officials said Ishtiyaq is a construction contactor, and his wealth led the accused to commit the crime. The four had been planning the caper for a few days. They had rented a room at Premnagar in Goregaon (W) five days ago and given a deposit of Rs 35,000 to the owner.

Cops said they had decided to kill the boy after collecting the money from the family because they were scared that he would easily identify them. They used SIM cards of unknown people for making the ransom calls. The first call the kidnappers made was at 11.30 pm on Monday. They told the family their son had been kidnapped and asked for Rs 50 lakh for his return.

They threatened that they’d kill the boy if they didn’t receive the money or if the family tried contacting the police. They said they would call again on Tuesday to reveal the time and place for exchanging the money. The family, however, informed the police and asked for help.

On Tuesday morning at 10, the accused called Ishrat’s family again and told them to bring the money to a location in Goregaon (W). The family arranged for R35 lakh and asked for two more hours to get the remaining Rs 15 lakh. In the meantime, however, the Crime Branch Unit XI officers managed to nab Raheman from Malwani area.

Through him, they traced the boy and rescued him, arresting the three other kidnappers. The four accused were booked under sections 362, (abduction), 363 (kidnapping), 384 (extortion) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

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