The accused and his accomplices had been planning the kidnapping since Navratri and had attempted to pick up the child several times
A four-year-old boy from Malwani, who had been abducted by his neighbour and accomplices, was reunited with his parents on Thursday, after the Crime Branch cracked the case and arrested the culprits. The cops learnt that the kidnapping was pre-planned and the accused had made several attempts to carry it out since Navratri.
The boy, a kindergarten student, was kidnapped on Tuesday evening as he was returning home from his tuition classes. A group of five abductors lay in wait for him in an Ola cab, driving around in the area until they spotted him. They picked him up and fled to Virar. They held the boy in a flat at Chandansar and made calls to his parents – his father runs an electrical repairs shop – with different SIM cards, demanding R5 lakh as ransom.
The Crime Branch (Unit 11) arrested six people, including the Ola cab driver. The neighbour, identified as Sonu, is on the run. The arrested accused have been identified as the mastermind Santosh Vishwa-karma, Rajesh Chauhan, Sanjay Chauhan, Dipa Gupta, Abhishek Jha and the driver Mohammed Zahir Siddiqui.
Prime accused Vishwaka-rma (21), a reporter with a local newspaper called Ruby Times, was the mastermind and the sole person to make the ransom calls to the family. He wanted to make easy money so he could buy a camera, and hatched the abduction plan. It was the neighbour Sonu’s suggestion to kidnap the boy. Jha, an M-Tech degree holder, works at a mobile shop and provided the SIM cards with which the calls were made. The accused had been planning the kidnapping since Navratri. They had even attempted to kidnap the child three or four times, but failed.
On Thursday evening, the cops traced Vishwakarma and Rajesh Chauhan’s location, and took them into custody. With the help of these two, they managed to arrest Sanjay and Dipa, who were with the boy at their Virar home. An officer from Unit 11 said, “The kidnapping was pre-planned. The accused had also purchased SIM cards with fake documents. The five accused are in our custody and we have also arrested the Ola cab driver, whose vehicle was used for the kidnapping.”
Grateful to the cops
The boy’s father Moha-mad Ashraf Shah said, “We thought we had lost our child when we received the calls from the kidnappers. None of us have eaten anything in the last two days. We looked all over Mumbai for my son. I am really thankful to the Crime Branch officer who helped us get our son back. The accused should face stringent punishment.”